International Orthopaedics June 2011, Volume 35, Issue 6, pp 831–838

Correlations between both the expression levels of inflammatory mediators and growth factor in medial perimeniscal synovial tissue and the severity of medial knee osteoarthritis

Ning, L., Ishijima, M., Kaneko, H. et al.

An enhanced expression of the inflammatory mediators in the perimeniscal synovium in knee osteoarthritis (OA) has been suggested to contribute to progressive cartilage degeneration. However, whether the expression levels of these molecules correlated with the severity of OA still remained unclear. Medial perimeniscal synovial samples were obtained from 23 patients with Kellgren-Lawrence (K/L) grades 2 to 4 of medial knee OA. Immunohistochemical analysis of the synovium revealed that the MMP-1, COX-2 and IL-1β expression of the patients with K/L 4 to be significantly reduced in comparison to those with either K/L 2 or 3, while the TGF-β expression showed the opposite. The synovial expression of MMP-1 and IL-1β showed a significant negative correlation with the severity of OA, while that of TGF-β again showed the opposite. In conclusion, although synovial inflammation remained active, the MMP-1, COX-2 and IL-1β expression in synovium decreased depending upon the severity of OA, while the TGF-β expression increased.

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