Elevation of cartilage AGEs does not accelerate initiation of canine experimental osteoarthritis upon mild surgical damagePetra A.J.M. Vos Jeroen DeGroot Angelique D. Barten‐van Rijbroek Anne‐Marie Zuurmond Johannes W.J. Bijlsma Simon C. Mastbergen Floris P.J.G. Lafeber
Osteoarthritis is a highly prevalent disease, age being the main risk factor. The age‐related accumulation of advanced‐glycation‐endproducts (AGEs) adversely affects the mechanical and biochemical properties of cartilage. The hypothesis that accumulation of cartilage AGEs in combination with surgically induced damage predisposes to the development of osteoarthritis was tested in vivo in a canine model. To artificially increase cartilage AGEs, right knee joints of eight dogs were repeatedly injected with ribose/threose (AGEd‐joints). Left joints with vehicle alone served as control. Subsequently, minimal surgically applied cartilage damage was induced and loading restrained as much as possible. Thirty weeks after surgery, joint tissues of all dogs were analyzed for biochemical and histological features of OA. Cartilage pentosidine levels were ∼5‐fold enhanced (p = 0.001 vs. control‐joints). On average, no statistically significant differences in joint degeneration were found between AGEd and control‐joints. Enhanced cartilage pentosidine levels did correlate with less cartilage proteoglycan release (R = −0.762 and R = −0.810 for total and newly‐formed proteoglycans, respectively; p = 0.028 and 0.015 for both). The current data support the diminished cartilage turnover, but only a tendency towards enhanced cartilage damage in AGEd articular cartilage was observed. As such, elevated AGEs do not unambiguously accelerate the development of early canine OA upon minimal surgical damage.