Wnt5a deficiency in osteocalcin-expressing cells could not alleviate the osteoarthritic phenotype in a mouse model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, Hebei, P.R. China

2 School of Public Health, North China University of Science and Technology, Tangshan, Hebei, P.R. China

3 Trauma department of the 982 Hospital of the joint service support force of the Chinese people’s Liberation Army, Tangshan, Hebei, P.R. China

4 Department of Stomatology, Kailuan General Hospital, Tangshan, China

5 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Emergency General Hospital, Beijing, 100028, China


Objective(s): Wnt5a, which regulates the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, is reportedly overexpressed in osteoarthritis (OA) tissues. The purpose of this study was to elucidate its role in the development of OA by deleting Wnt5a in osteocalcin (OCN)-expressing cells.
Materials and Methods: Knee OA was induced by anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) in OCN-Cre;Wnt5afl/fl knockout (Wnt5a-cKO) mice and control littermates. Eight weeks after surgery, histological changes, cell apoptosis, and matrix metabolism of cartilage were evaluated by toluidine blue, TUNEL staining, and im-immunohistochemistry analyses, respectively. In addition, the subchondral bone microarchitecture of mice was examined by micro-computed tomography (micro-CT).
Results: Histological scores show substantial cartilage degeneration occurred in ACLT knees, coupled with decreased collagen type II expression and enhanced matrix metalloproteinase 13 expression, as well as higher proportions of apoptotic cells. Micro-CT results show that ACLT resulted in decreased bone mineral density, bone volume/trabecular volume, trabecular number, and structure model index of subchondral bones in both Wnt5a-cKO and control littermates; although Wnt5a-cKO mice display lower BMD and BV/TV values, no significant difference was observed between Wnt5a-cKO and control mice for any of these values. 
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that Wnt5a deficiency in OCN-expressing cells could not prevent an osteoarthritic phenotype in a mouse model of post-traumatic OA.


Main Subjects

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