Gremlin-1 and BMP-4 Overexpressed in Osteoarthritis Drive an Osteochondral-Remodeling Program in Osteoblasts and Hypertrophic Chondrocytes (Équipe Berenbaum)

27 - Février - 2022

Maria-Luisa Perez-Lozano, Laure Sudre, Sandy van Eegher, Danièle Citadelle, Audrey Pigenet, Marie-Hélène Lafage-Proust, Philippe Pastoureau, Fréderic De Ceuninck, Francis Berenbaum, Xavier Houard

Int J Mol Sci 2022; 23

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a whole joint disease characterized by an important remodeling of the osteochondral junction. It includes cartilage mineralization due to chondrocyte hypertrophic differentiation and bone sclerosis. Here, we investigated whether gremlin-1 (Grem-1) and its BMP partners could be involved in the remodeling events of the osteochondral junction in OA. We found that Grem-1, BMP-2, and BMP-4 immunostaining was detected in chondrocytes from the deep layer of cartilage and in subchondral bone of knee OA patients, and was positively correlated with cartilage damage. ELISA assays showed that bone released more Grem-1 and BMP-4 than cartilage, which released more BMP-2. In vitro experiments evidenced that compression stimulated the expression and the release of Grem-1 and BMP-4 by osteoblasts. Grem-1 was also overexpressed during the prehypertrophic to hypertrophic differentiation of murine articular chondrocytes. Recombinant Grem-1 stimulated Mmp-3 and Mmp-13 expression in murine chondrocytes and osteoblasts, whereas recombinant BMP-4 stimulated the expression of genes associated with angiogenesis (Angptl4 and osteoclastogenesis (Rankl and Ccl2). In conclusion, Grem-1 and BMP-4, whose expression at the osteochondral junction increased with OA progression, may favor the pathological remodeling of the osteochondral junction by inducing a catabolic and tissue remodeling program in hypertrophic chondrocytes and osteoblasts.

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