Publications by authors named "Janet L Huebner"

59 Publications

A phase 2 trial of the somatostatin analog pasireotide to prevent GI toxicity and acute GVHD in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant.

PLoS One 2021 25;16(6):e0252995. Epub 2021 Jun 25.

Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, United States of America.

Background: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HCT) is an often curative intent treatment, however it is associated with significant gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity and treatment related mortality. Graft-versus-host disease is a significant contributor to transplant-related mortality. We performed a phase 2 trial of the somatostatin analog pasireotide to prevent gastrointestinal toxicity and GVHD after myeloablative allogeneic HCT.

Methods: Patients received 0.9mg pasireotide every 12 hours from the day prior to conditioning through day +4 after HCT (or a maximum of 14 days). The primary outcomes were grade 3-4 gastrointestinal toxicity through day 30 and acute GVHD. Secondary outcomes were chronic GVHD, overall survival and relapse free survival at one year. Stool and blood samples were collected from before and after HCT for analyses of stool microbiome, local inflammatory markers, and systemic inflammatory and metabolic markers. Results were compared with matched controls.

Results: Twenty-six patients received pasireotide and were compared to 52 matched contemporaneous controls using a 1-2 match. Grade 3-4 GI toxicity occurred in 21 (81%) patients who received pasireotide and 35 (67%) controls (p = 0.33). Acute GVHD occurred in 15 (58%) patients in the pasireotide group and 28 (54%) controls (p = 0.94). Chronic GVHD occurred in 16 patients in the pasireotide group (64%) versus 22 patients in the control group (42%) (p = 0.12). Overall survival at 1 year in the pasireotide group was 63% (95% CI: 47%,86%) versus 82% (95% CI: 72%, 93%) in controls (log-rank p = 0.006). Relapse-free survival rate at one year was 40% (95% CI: 25%, 65%) in the pasireotide group versus 78% (95% CI: 68%, 91%) in controls (log-rank p = 0.002). After controlling for the effect of relevant covariates, patients in the pasireotide group had attenuated post-HCT loss of microbial diversity. Analysis of systemic inflammatory markers and metabolomics demonstrated feasibility of such analyses in patients undergoing allogeneic HCT. Baseline level and pre-to-post transplant changes in several inflammatory markers (including MIP1a, MIP1b, TNFa, IL8Pro, and IL6) correlated with likelihood of survival.

Conclusions: Pasireotide did not prevent gastrointestinal toxicity or acute GVHD compared to contemporaneous controls. Pasireotide was associated with numerically higher chronic GVHD and significantly decreased OS and RFS compared to contemporaneous controls. Pasireotide may provide a locally protective effect in the stool microbiome and in local inflammation as measured by stool calprotectin, stool beta-defensin, and stool diversity index.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0252995PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8232534PMC
June 2021

Exercise protects against cardiac and skeletal muscle dysfunction in a mouse model of inflammatory arthritis.

J Appl Physiol (1985) 2021 03 7;130(3):853-864. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a systemic inflammatory arthritis impacting primarily joints and cardiac and skeletal muscle. RA's distinct impact on cardiac and skeletal muscle tissue is suggested by studies showing that new RA pharmacologic agents strongly improve joint inflammation, but have little impact on RA-associated mortality, cardiovascular disease, and sarcopenia. Thus, the objective is to understand the distinct effects of RA on cardiac and skeletal muscle, and to therapeutically target these tissues through endurance-based exercise as a way to improve RA mortality and morbidity. We utilize the well-characterized RA mouse model, the K/BxN mouse, to investigate cardiac and skeletal muscle pathologies, including the use of wheel-running exercise to mitigate these pathologies. Strikingly, we found that K/BxN mice, like patients with RA, also exhibit both cardiac and skeletal muscle myopathies that were correlated with circulating IL-6 levels. Three months of wheel-running exercise significantly improved K/BxN joint swelling and reduced systemic IL-6 concentrations. Importantly, there were morphological, gene expression, and functional improvements in both the skeletal muscle and cardiac myopathies with exercise. The K/BxN mouse model of RA recapitulated important RA clinical comorbidities, including altered joint, cardiac and skeletal muscle function. These morphological, molecular, and functional alterations were mitigated with regular exercise, thus suggesting exercise as a potential therapeutic intervention to lessen disease activity in the joint and the peripheral tissues, including the heart and skeletal muscle. RA, even when controlled, is associated with skeletal muscle weakness and greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Using exercise as a therapeutic against, the progression of RA is often avoided due to fear of worsening RA pathology. We introduce the K/BxN mouse as an RA model to study both myocardial and skeletal muscle dysfunction. We show that endurance exercise can improve joint, cardiac, and skeletal muscle function in K/BxN mice, suggesting exercise may be beneficial for patients with RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00576.2020DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7988790PMC
March 2021

Initial displacement of the intra-articular surface after articular fracture correlates with PTA in C57BL/6 mice but not "superhealer" MRL/MpJ mice.

J Orthop Res 2020 Nov 12. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Posttraumatic arthritis (PTA) occurs commonly after articular fracture and may arise, in part, from joint surface incongruity after injury. MRL/MpJ (MRL) "super-healer" mice are protected from PTA compared to C57BL/6 (B6) mice following articular fracture. However, the relationship between the initial displacement of the articular surface, biologic response, and susceptibility to PTA after fracture remains unclear. The objective of this study was to assess whether joint incongruity after articular fracture, as measured by in vivo micro-computed tomography (microCT), could predict pathomechanisms of PTA in mice. B6 and MRL mice (n = 12/strain) received a closed articular fracture (fx) of the left tibial plateau. Articular incongruity was quantified as bone surface deviations (BSD) for each in vivo microCT scan obtained from pre-fx to 8 weeks post-fx, followed by histologic assessment of arthritis. Serum concentrations of bone formation (PINP) and bone resorption (CTX-I) biomarkers were quantified longitudinally. Both strains showed increases in surface incongruity over time, as measured by increases in BSD. In B6 mice, acute surface incongruity was significantly correlated to the severity of PTA (R  = 0.988; p = .0006), but not in MRL mice (R  = 0.224; p = .220). PINP concentrations significantly decreased immediately post-fx in B6 mice (p = .023) but not in MRL mice, indicating higher bone synthesis in MRL mice. MRL/MpJ mice demonstrate a unique biologic response to articular fracture such that the observed articular bone surface displacement does not correlate with the severity of subsequent PTA. Clinical Relevance: Identifying therapies to enhance acute biologic repair following articular fracture may mitigate the risk of articular surface displacement for PTA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.24912DOI Listing
November 2020

Degenerative joint changes following intra-articular fracture are more severe in mice with T cell deficiency.

J Orthop Res 2020 Oct 26. Epub 2020 Oct 26.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

The inflammatory response to joint injury, specifically intra-articular fracture, has been implicated in posttraumatic arthritis development. However, the role of T cells in regulating the development of posttraumatic arthritis is unclear. We hypothesized that the absence of T cells would lead to less severe posttraumatic arthritis following intra-articular fracture. T cell-deficient, athymic nude, and wild-type C57BL/6NJ mice were assessed at 8 weeks following closed articular fracture. Joints were assessed using histologic scores of arthritis, synovitis, and bone morphology via micro computed tomography. Cells were profiled in whole blood via flow cytometry, and plasma and synovial fluid derived cytokines were quantified by multiplex analysis. Compared to C57BL/6NJ mice, nude mice had significantly greater histologic evidence of arthritis and synovitis. Whole blood immune cell profiling revealed a lower percentage of dendritic cells but increased natural killer (NK) cells in nude mice. Concurrently, nude mice had significantly higher levels of NK cells in synovial tissue. Concentrations of plasma interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor α, and synovial fluid IL-12, IL-17, and IL-6 in both knees were greater in nude mice. Outcomes of this study suggest that T cells may play a protective regulatory role against the development of posttraumatic arthritis. Clinical significance: Lack of functional T cells exacerbated the development of posttraumatic arthritis following intra-articular fracture suggesting that critical regulators of the immune responses, contained within the T cell population, are required for protection. Future research identifying the specific T cell subsets responsible for modulating disease immunopathogenesis will lead to new therapeutic targets to mitigate posttraumatic arthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.24899DOI Listing
October 2020

The combination of an inflammatory peripheral blood gene expression and imaging biomarkers enhance prediction of radiographic progression in knee osteoarthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 09 10;22(1):208. Epub 2020 Sep 10.

Department of Medicine, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Objective: Predictive biomarkers of progression in knee osteoarthritis are sought to enable clinical trials of structure-modifying drugs. A peripheral blood leukocyte (PBL) inflammatory gene signature, MRI-based bone marrow lesions (BML) and meniscus extrusion scores, meniscal lesions, and osteophytes on X-ray each have been shown separately to predict radiographic joint space narrowing (JSN) in subjects with symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (SKOA). In these studies, we determined whether the combination of the PBL inflammatory gene expression and these imaging findings at baseline enhanced the prognostic value of either alone.

Methods: PBL inflammatory gene expression (increased mRNA for IL-1β, TNFα, and COX-2), routine radiographs, and 3T knee MRI were assessed in two independent populations with SKOA: an NYU cohort and the Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI). At baseline and 24 months, subjects underwent standardized fixed-flexion knee radiographs and knee MRI. Medial JSN (mJSN) was determined as the change in medial JSW. Progressors were defined by an mJSN cut-point (≥ 0.5 mm/24 months). Models were evaluated by odds ratios (OR) and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC).

Results: We validated our prior finding in these two independent (NYU and OAI) cohorts, individually and combined, that an inflammatory PBL inflammatory gene expression predicted radiographic progression of SKOA after adjustment for age, sex, and BMI. Similarly, the presence of baseline BML and meniscal lesions by MRI or semiquantitative osteophyte score on X-ray each predicted radiographic medial JSN at 24 months. The combination of the PBL inflammatory gene expression and medial BML increased the AUC from 0.66 (p = 0.004) to 0.75 (p < 0.0001) and the odds ratio from 6.31 to 19.10 (p < 0.0001) in the combined cohort of 473 subjects. The addition of osteophyte score to BML and PBL inflammatory gene expression further increased the predictive value of any single biomarker. A causal analysis demonstrated that the PBL inflammatory gene expression and BML independently influenced mJSN.

Conclusion: The use of the PBL inflammatory gene expression together with imaging biomarkers as combinatorial predictive biomarkers, markedly enhances the identification of radiographic progressors. The identification of the SKOA population at risk for progression will help in the future design of disease-modifying OA drug trials and personalized medicine strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02298-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7488029PMC
September 2020

Author Correction: Meteorin-like facilitates skeletal muscle repair through a Stat3/IGF-1 mechanism.

Nat Metab 2020 Aug;2(8):794

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-0257-yDOI Listing
August 2020

Meteorin-like facilitates skeletal muscle repair through a Stat3/IGF-1 mechanism.

Nat Metab 2020 03 16;2(3):278-289. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

The immune system plays a multifunctional role throughout the regenerative process, regulating both pro-/anti-inflammatory phases and progenitor cell function. In the present study, we identify the myokine/cytokine Meteorin-like (Metrnl) as a critical regulator of muscle regeneration. Mice genetically lacking Metrnl have impaired muscle regeneration associated with a reduction in immune cell infiltration and an inability to transition towards an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Isochronic parabiosis, joining wild-type and whole-body Metrnl knock-out (KO) mice, returns Metrnl expression in the injured muscle and improves muscle repair, providing supportive evidence for Metrnl secretion from infiltrating immune cells. Macrophage-specific Metrnl KO mice are also deficient in muscle repair. During muscle regeneration, Metrnl works, in part, through Stat3 activation in macrophages, resulting in differentiation to an anti-inflammatory phenotype. With regard to myogenesis, Metrnl induces macrophage-dependent insulin-like growth factor 1 production, which has a direct effect on primary muscle satellite cell proliferation. Perturbations in this pathway inhibit efficacy of Metrnl in the regenerative process. Together, these studies identify Metrnl as an important regulator of muscle regeneration and a potential therapeutic target to enhance tissue repair.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s42255-020-0184-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7504545PMC
March 2020

Rejuvenation of Neutrophil Functions in Association With Reduced Diabetes Risk Following Ten Weeks of Low-Volume High Intensity Interval Walking in Older Adults With Prediabetes - A Pilot Study.

Front Immunol 2020 5;11:729. Epub 2020 May 5.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, School of Medicine, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States.

Neutrophil dysfunction is a common feature of aging, and is associated with the pathogenesis of many age-related diseases, including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Although exercise training improves metabolic health, decreases risk of T2DM, and is associated with improving neutrophil functions, involvement in regular physical activity declines with age. The aim of this study was to determine if neutrophil functions could be improved in association with changes in fitness and metabolic parameters in older adults at risk for T2DM using 10-weeks of low volume high-intensity interval exercise training (HIIT). Ten older (71 ± 5 years) sedentary adults with prediabetes (HbA1c: 6.1 ± 0.3%) completed 10 weeks of a supervised HIIT program. Three 30 min sessions/week consisted of ten 60 s intervals of low intensity [50-60% heart rate reserve (HRR)] separated with similar durations of high intensity intervals (80-90% HRR). Before and after training, glucose and insulin sensitivity, neutrophil chemotaxis, bacterial phagocytosis, reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, and mitochondrial functions were assessed. Exercise-mediated changes in cardiorespiratory fitness (VO ) and neutrophil functions were compared to six young (23 ± 1 years) healthy adults. Following training, significant reductions in fasting glucose and insulin were accompanied by improved glucose control and insulin sensitivity (all < 0.05). Before exercise training, VO in the old participants was significantly less than that of the young controls ( < 0.001), but increased by 16 ± 11% following training ( = 0.002) resulting in a 6% improvement of the deficit. Neutrophil chemotaxis, phagocytosis and stimulated ROS production were significantly less than that of the young controls, while basal ROS were higher before training (all < 0.05). Following training, chemotaxis, phagocytosis and stimulated ROS increased while basal ROS decreased, similar to levels observed in the young controls (all < 0.05) and reducing the deficit of the young controls between 2 and 154%. In five of the adults with prediabetes, neutrophil mitochondrial functions were significantly poorer than the six young controls before training. Following training, mitochondrial functions improved toward those observed in young controls (all < 0.05), reducing the deficit of the young controls between 14.3 and 451%. Ten weeks of HIIT in older adults at risk for T2DM reduced disease risk accompanied by improved primary and bioenergetic neutrophil functions. Our results are consistent with a reduced risk of infections mediated by relationships in exercise induced systemic and cellular metabolic features. www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT02441205, registered on May 12th, 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.00729DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7214668PMC
March 2021

Biomarkers Associated with Physical Resilience After Hip Fracture.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020 09;75(10):e166-e172

Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.

Background: Clinically similar older adults demonstrate variable responses to health stressors, heterogeneity attributable to differences in physical resilience. However, molecular mechanisms underlying physical resilience are unknown. We previously derived a measure of physical resilience after hip fracture-the expected recovery differential (ERD)-that captures the difference between actual recovery and predicted recovery. Starting with biomarkers associated with physical performance, morbidity, mortality, and hip fracture, we evaluated associations with the ERD to identify biomarkers of physical resilience after hip fracture.

Methods: In the Baltimore Hip Studies (N = 304) sera, we quantified biomarkers of inflammation (TNFR-I, TNFR-II, sVCAM-1, and IL-6), metabolic and mitochondrial function (non-esterified fatty acids, lactate, ketones, acylcarnitines, free amino acids, and IGF-1), and epigenetic dysregulation (circulating microRNAs). We used principal component analysis, canonical correlation, and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator regression (LASSO) to identify biomarker associations with better-than-expected recovery (greater ERD) after hip fracture.

Results: Participants with greater ERD were more likely to be women and less disabled at baseline. The complete biomarker set explained 37% of the variance in ERD (p < .001) by canonical correlation. LASSO regression identified a biomarker subset that accounted for 27% of the total variance in the ERD and included a metabolic factor (aspartate/asparagine, C22, C5:1, lactate, glutamate/mine), TNFR-I, miR-376a-3p, and miR-16-5p.

Conclusions: We identified a set of biomarkers that explained 27% of the variance in ERD-a measure of physical resilience after hip fracture. These ERD-associated biomarkers may be useful in predicting physical resilience in older adults facing hip fracture and other acute health stressors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glaa119DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7518564PMC
September 2020

Increase in Free and Total Plasma TGF-β1 Following Physical Activity.

Cartilage 2020 Apr 27:1947603520916523. Epub 2020 Apr 27.

Department of Medicine, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Objective: To evaluate effects of physical activity and food consumption on plasma concentrations of free and total transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1), beta-2 (TGF-β2), and beta-3 (TGF-β3) in individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: Participants ( = 40 in 2 cohorts of 20; mean age 70 years) with radiographic knee OA were admitted overnight for serial blood sampling. Cohorts 1 and 2 assessed the impacts of food intake and activity, respectively, on TGF-β concentrations. Cohort 1 blood draws included 2 hours postprandial the evening of day 1 (T3), fasting before rising on day 2 (T0), nonfasting 1 hour after rising (T1B), and 4 hours after rising (T2). Cohort 2 blood draws included T3, T0, fasting 1 hour after rising and performing activities of daily living (T1A), and nonfasting 2 hours after rising (T1B). By sandwich ELISAs, we quantified plasma free and total TGF-β1 concentrations in all samples, and plasma total TGF-β2 and TGF-β3 in cohort 2.

Results: Free TGF-β1 represented a small fraction of the total systemic concentration (mean 0.026%). In cohort 2, free and total TGF-β1 and total TGF-β2 concentration significantly increased in fasting samples collected after an hour (T1A) of activities of daily living (free TGF-β1: = 0.006; total TGF-β1: < 0.001; total TGF-β2: = 0.001). Total TGF-β3 increased nonsignificantly following activity ( = 0.590) and decreased ( = 0.035) after food consumption while resting (T1B).

Conclusions: Increased plasma concentrations of TGF-β with physical activity suggests activity should be standardized prior to TGF-β1 analyses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1947603520916523DOI Listing
April 2020

Transgenic conversion of ω-6 to ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids via fat-1 reduces the severity of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 04 15;22(1):83. Epub 2020 Apr 15.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University in St. Louis, Campus Box 8233, Couch Biomedical Research Bldg, Room 3121, St. Louis, MO, 63110, USA.

Background: Dietary fatty acid (FA) content has been shown to influence the development of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) in obesity. We used the fat-1 transgenic mouse to examine the hypothesis that endogenous reduction of ω-6 to ω-3 FA ratio, under the same dietary conditions, would mitigate metabolic inflammation and the pathogenesis of PTOA in obese male and female mice.

Methods: Male and female fat-1 and wild-type littermates were fed either a control diet or an ω-6 FA-rich high-fat diet and underwent destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) surgery to induce PTOA. OA severity, synovitis, and osteophyte formation were determined histologically, while biomarker and lipidomic analyses were performed to evaluate levels of adipokines, insulin, pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokines, and FAs in serum and joint synovial fluid. Multivariable models were performed to elucidate the associations of dietary, metabolic, and mechanical factors with PTOA.

Results: We found that elevated serum levels of ω-3 FAs in fat-1 mice as compared to wild-type controls fed the same diet resulted in reduced OA and synovitis in a sex- and diet-dependent manner, despite comparable body weights. The fat-1 mice showed trends toward decreased serum pro-inflammatory cytokines and increased anti-inflammatory cytokines. Multivariable analysis for variables predicting OA severity in mice resulted in correlations with serum FA levels, but not with body weight.

Conclusions: This study provides further evidence that circulating FA composition and systemic metabolic inflammation, rather than body weight, may be the major risk factor for obesity-associated OA. We also demonstrate the potential genetic use of ω-3 FA desaturase in mitigating PTOA in obese patients following injury.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02170-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160898PMC
April 2020

Inflammatory, Structural, and Pain Biochemical Biomarkers May Reflect Radiographic Disc Space Narrowing: The Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project.

J Orthop Res 2020 05 4;38(5):1027-1037. Epub 2019 Dec 4.

Thurston Arthritis Research Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The purpose of this work is to determine the relationship between biomarkers of inflammation, structure, and pain with radiographic disc space narrowing (DSN) in community-based participants. A total of 74 participants (37 cases and 37 controls) enrolled in the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project during 2006-2010 were selected. The cases had at least mild radiographic DSN and low back pain (LBP). The controls had neither radiographic evidence of DSN nor LBP. The measured analytes from human serum included N-cadherin, Keratin-19, Lumican, CXCL6, RANTES, IL-17, IL-6, BDNF, OPG, and NPY. A standard dolorimeter measured pressure-pain threshold. The coefficients of variation were used to evaluate inter- and intra-assay reliability. Participants with similar biomarker profiles were grouped together using cluster analysis. The binomial regression models were used to estimate risk ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) in propensity score-matched models. Significant associations were found between radiographic DSN and OPG (RR = 3.90; 95% CI: 1.83, 8.31), IL-6 (RR = 2.54; 95% CI: 1.92, 3.36), and NPY (RR = 2.06 95% CI: 1.62, 2.63). Relative to a cluster with low levels of biomarkers, a cluster representing elevated levels of OPG, RANTES, Lumican, Keratin-19, and NPY (RR = 3.04; 95% CI: 1.22, 7.54) and a cluster representing elevated levels of NPY (RR = 2.91; 95% CI: 1.15, 7.39) were significantly associated with radiographic DSN. Clinical Significance: These findings suggest that individual and combinations of biochemical biomarkers may reflect radiographic DSN. This is just one step toward understanding the relationships between biochemical biomarkers and DSN that may lead to improved intervention delivery. © 2019 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 38:1027-1037, 2020.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.24534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7162706PMC
May 2020

Association of Blood Chemistry Quantifications of Biological Aging With Disability and Mortality in Older Adults.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2020 09;75(9):1671-1679

Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York.

Quantification of biological aging has been proposed for population surveillance of age-related decline in system integrity and evaluation of geroprotective therapies. However, methods of quantifying biological aging have been little studied in geriatric populations. We analyzed three clinical-biomarker-algorithm methods to quantify biological aging. Klemera-Doubal method Biological Age and homeostatic dysregulation algorithms were parameterized from analysis of U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) data (N = 36,207) based on published methods. Levine method Biological Age was adapted from published analysis of NHANES data. Algorithms were applied to biomarker data from the Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (Duke-EPESE) cohort of older adults (N = 1,374, aged 71-102 years, 35% male, 52% African American). We tested associations of biological aging measures with participant reported Activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) dependencies, and mortality. We evaluated the sensitivity of results to the demographic composition of reference samples and biomarker sets used to develop biological aging algorithms. African American and white Duke-EPESE participants with more advanced biological aging reported dependence in more ADLs and IADLs and were at increased risk of death over follow-up through 2017. Effect sizes were similar across algorithms, but were strongest for Levine method Biological Age (per-quintile increase in ADL incidence rate ratio = 1.25, 95% confidence interval [1.17-1.37], IADL incidence rate ratio = 1.23 [1.15-1.32], mortality hazard ratio = 1.12 [1.08-1.16]). Results were insensitive to demographic composition of reference samples, but modestly sensitive to the biomarker sets used to develop biological aging algorithms. Blood-chemistry-based quantifications of biological aging show promise for evaluating the effectiveness of interventions to extend healthy life span in older adults.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/glz219DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7494046PMC
September 2020

Lowering circulating apolipoprotein E levels improves aged bone fracture healing.

JCI Insight 2019 09 19;4(18). Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute.

Age is a well-established risk factor for impaired bone fracture healing. Here, we identify a role for apolipoprotein E (ApoE) in age-associated impairment of bone fracture healing and osteoblast differentiation, and we investigate the mechanism by which ApoE alters these processes. We identified that, in both humans and mice, circulating ApoE levels increase with age. We assessed bone healing in WT and ApoE-/- mice after performing tibial fracture surgery: bone deposition was higher within fracture calluses from ApoE-/- mice. In vitro recombinant ApoE (rApoE) treatment of differentiating osteoblasts decreased cellular differentiation and matrix mineralization. Moreover, this rApoE treatment decreased osteoblast glycolytic activity while increasing lipid uptake and fatty acid oxidation. Using parabiosis models, we determined that circulating ApoE plays a strong inhibitory role in bone repair. Using an adeno-associated virus-based siRNA system, we decreased circulating ApoE levels in 24-month-old mice and demonstrated that, as a result, fracture calluses from these aged mice displayed enhanced bone deposition and mechanical strength. Our results demonstrate that circulating ApoE as an aging factor inhibits bone fracture healing by altering osteoblast metabolism, thereby identifying ApoE as a new therapeutic target for improving bone repair in the elderly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.129144DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6795296PMC
September 2019

Dysregulated Inflammatory Response Related to Cartilage Degradation after ACL Injury.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2020 03;52(3):535-541

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC.

Purpose: Elevated synovial fluid (SF) concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines, degradative enzymes, and cartilage breakdown markers at the time of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction are associated with worse postoperative patient-reported outcomes and cartilage quality. However, it remains unclear if this is due to a more robust or dysregulated inflammatory response or is a function of a more severe injury. The objective of this study was to evaluate the association of the molecular composition of the SF, patient demographics, and injury characteristics to cartilage degradation after acute ACL injury.

Methods: We performed a cluster analysis of SF concentrations of proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines, and biomarkers of cartilage degradation, bony remodeling, and hemarthrosis. We evaluated the association of biomarker clusters with patient demographics, days between injury, Visual Analogue Scale pain, SF aspirate volumes, and bone bruise volumes measured on magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: Two clusters were identified from the 35 patients included in this analysis, dysregulated inflammation and low inflammation. The dysregulated inflammation cluster consisted of 10 patients and demonstrated significantly greater concentrations of biomarkers of cartilage degradation (P < 0.05) as well as a lower ratio of anti-inflammatory to proinflammatory cytokines (P = 0.053) when compared with the low inflammation cluster. Patient demographics, bone bruise volumes, SF aspirate volumes, pain, and concomitant injuries did not differ between clusters.

Conclusions: A subset of patients exhibited dysregulation of the inflammatory response after acute ACL injury which may increase the risk of posttraumatic osteoarthritis. This response does not appear to be a function of injury severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002161DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7024009PMC
March 2020

Synovial fluid biomarkers associated with osteoarthritis severity reflect macrophage and neutrophil related inflammation.

Arthritis Res Ther 2019 06 13;21(1):146. Epub 2019 Jun 13.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Box 104775, 300 North Duke St, Durham, NC, 27701, USA.

Background: To identify a synovial fluid (SF) biomarker profile characteristic of individuals with an inflammatory osteoarthritis (OA) endotype.

Methods: A total of 48 knees (of 25 participants) were characterized for an extensive array of SF biomarkers quantified by Rules Based Medicine using the high-sensitivity multiplex immunoassay, Myriad Human InflammationMAP® 1.0, which included 47 different cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors related to inflammation. Multivariable regression with generalized estimating equations (GEE) and false discovery rate (FDR) correction was used to assess associations of SF RBM biomarkers with etarfolatide imaging scores reflecting synovial inflammation; radiographic knee OA severity (based on Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grade, joint space narrowing, and osteophyte scores); knee joint symptoms; and SF biomarkers associated with activated macrophages and knee OA progression including CD14 and CD163 (shed by activated macrophages) and elastase (shed by activated neutrophils).

Results: Significant associations of SF biomarkers meeting FDR < 0.05 included soluble (s)VCAM-1 and MMP-3 with synovial inflammation (FDR-adjusted p = 0.025 and 1.06 × 10); sVCAM-1, sICAM-1, TIMP-1, and VEGF with radiographic OA severity (p = 1.85 × 10 to 3.97 × 10); and VEGF, MMP-3, TIMP-1, sICAM-1, sVCAM-1, and MCP-1 with OA symptoms (p = 2.72 × 10 to 0.050). All these SF biomarkers were highly correlated with macrophage markers CD163 and CD14 in SF (r = 0.43 to 0.90, FDR < 0.05); all but MCP-1 were also highly correlated with neutrophil elastase in SF (r = 0.62 to 0.89, FDR < 0.05).

Conclusions: A subset of six SF biomarkers was related to synovial inflammation in OA, as well as radiographic and symptom severity. These six OA-related SF biomarkers were specifically linked to indicators of activated macrophages and neutrophils. These results attest to an inflammatory OA endotype that may serve as the basis for therapeutic targeting of a subset of individuals at high risk for knee OA progression.

Trial Registration: Written informed consent was received from participants prior to inclusion in the study; the study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov ( NCT01237405 ) on November 9, 2010, prior to enrollment of the first participant.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-019-1923-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6567574PMC
June 2019

Effect of high-intensity interval training on muscle remodeling in rheumatoid arthritis compared to prediabetes.

Arthritis Res Ther 2018 12 27;20(1):283. Epub 2018 Dec 27.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, 300 N Duke St, Durham, NC, 27701, USA.

Background: Sarcopenic obesity, associated with greater risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), may be related to dysregulated muscle remodeling. To determine whether exercise training could improve remodeling, we measured changes in inter-relationships of plasma galectin-3, skeletal muscle cytokines, and muscle myostatin in patients with RA and prediabetes before and after a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) program.

Methods: Previously sedentary persons with either RA (n = 12) or prediabetes (n = 9) completed a 10-week supervised HIIT program. At baseline and after training, participants underwent body composition (Bod Pod) and cardiopulmonary exercise testing, plasma collection, and vastus lateralis biopsies. Plasma galectin-3, muscle cytokines, muscle interleukin-1 beta (mIL-1β), mIL-6, mIL-8, muscle tumor necrosis factor-alpha (mTNF-α), mIL-10, and muscle myostatin were measured via enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. An independent cohort of patients with RA (n = 47) and age-, gender-, and body mass index (BMI)-matched non-RA controls (n = 23) were used for additional analyses of galectin-3 inter-relationships.

Results: Exercise training did not reduce mean concentration of galectin-3, muscle cytokines, or muscle myostatin in persons with either RA or prediabetes. However, training-induced alterations varied among individuals and were associated with cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition changes. Improved cardiorespiratory fitness (increased absolute peak maximal oxygen consumption, or VO) correlated with reductions in galectin-3 (r = -0.57, P = 0.05 in RA; r = -0.48, P = 0.23 in prediabetes). Training-induced improvements in body composition were related to reductions in muscle IL-6 and TNF-α (r < -0.60 and P <0.05 for all). However, the association between increased lean mass and decreased muscle IL-6 association was stronger in prediabetes compared with RA (Fisher r-to-z P = 0.0004); in prediabetes but not RA, lean mass increases occurred in conjunction with reductions in muscle myostatin (r = -0.92; P <0.05; Fisher r-to-z P = 0.026). Subjects who received TNF inhibitors (n = 4) or hydroxychloroquine (n = 4) did not improve body composition with exercise training.

Conclusion: Exercise responses in muscle myostatin, cytokines, and body composition were significantly greater in prediabetes than in RA, consistent with impaired muscle remodeling in RA. To maximize physiologic improvements with exercise training in RA, a better understanding is needed of skeletal muscle and physiologic responses to exercise training and their modulation by RA disease-specific features or pharmacologic agents or both.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02528344 . Registered on August 19, 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-018-1786-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6307310PMC
December 2018

Select Biomarkers on the Day of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Predict Poor Patient-Reported Outcomes at 2-Year Follow-Up: A Pilot Study.

Biomed Res Int 2018 19;2018:9387809. Epub 2018 Jul 19.

University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA.

Background: The majority of patients develop posttraumatic osteoarthritis within 15 years of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. Inflammatory and chondrodegenerative biomarkers have been associated with both pain and the progression of osteoarthritis; however, it remains unclear if preoperative biomarkers differ for patients with inferior postoperative outcomes.

Hypothesis/purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to compare biomarkers collected on the day of ACL reconstruction between patients with "good" or "poor" 2-year postoperative outcomes. We hypothesized that inflammatory cytokines and chondrodegenerative biomarker concentrations would be significantly greater in patients with poorer outcomes.

Study Design: Prospective cohort design.

Methods: 22 patients (9 females, 13 males; age = 19.5 ± 4.1 years; BMI = 24.1 ± 3.6 kg/m) previously enrolled in a randomized trial evaluating early anti-inflammatory treatment after ACL injury. Biomarkers of chondrodegeneration and inflammation were assessed from synovial fluid (sf) samples collected on the day of ACL reconstruction. Participants completed Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) questionnaires two years following surgery. Patients were then categorized based on whether their KOOS Quality of Life (QOL) score surpassed the Patient Acceptable Symptom State (PASS) threshold of 62.5 points or the IKDC PASS threshold of 75.9 points.

Results: Patients that failed to reach the QOL PASS threshold after surgery (n = 6, 27%) had significantly greater sf interleukin-1 alpha (IL-1; p = 0.004), IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra; p = 0.03), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9; p = 0.01) concentrations on the day of surgery. Patients that failed to reach the IKDC PASS threshold (n = 9, 41%) had significantly greater sf IL-1 (p = 0.02).

Conclusion: These pilot data suggest that initial biochemical changes after injury may be an indicator of poor outcomes that are not mitigated by surgical stabilization alone. Biological adjuvant treatment in addition to ACL reconstruction may be beneficial; however, these data should be used for hypothesis generation and more definitive randomized clinical trials are necessary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2018/9387809DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6076965PMC
January 2019

Age-Related Adverse Inflammatory and Metabolic Changes Begin Early in Adulthood.

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 2019 02;74(3):283-289

Division of Geriatrics, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina.

Aging is characterized by deleterious immune and metabolic changes, but the onset of these changes is unknown. We measured immune and metabolic biomarkers in adults beginning at age 30. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate these biomarkers in adults aged 30 to over 80. Biomarkers were quantified in 961 adults. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), tumor necrosis factor receptor I (TNFR-I), tumor necrosis factor receptor II (TNFR-II), interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6, VCAM-I, D-Dimer, G-CSF, regulated on activation, normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), adiponectin, and paraoxonase activity were measured by ELISA. Acylcarnitines and amino acids (AAs) were measured by mass spectrometry and reduced to a single factor using principal components analysis (PCA). Glycine was analyzed separately. The relationship between age and biomarkers was analyzed by linear regression with sex, race, and body mass index (BMI) as covariates. Age was positively correlated with TNF-α, TNFR-I, TNFR-II, IL-6, IL-2, VCAM-1, D-Dimer, MMP-3, adiponectin, acylcarnitines, and AAs. Age was negative correlated with G-CSF, RANTES, and paraoxonase activity. BMI was significant for all biomarkers except IL-2, VCAM-1, RANTES, paraoxonase activity, and the AA factor. Excluding MMP-3, greater BMI was associated with potentially adverse changes in biomarker concentrations. Age-related changes in immune and metabolic biomarkers, known to be associated with poor outcomes in older adults, begin as early as the thirties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/gerona/gly121DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6376106PMC
February 2019

Ten weeks of high-intensity interval walk training is associated with reduced disease activity and improved innate immune function in older adults with rheumatoid arthritis: a pilot study.

Arthritis Res Ther 2018 06 14;20(1):127. Epub 2018 Jun 14.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease in which adults have significant joint issues leading to poor health. Poor health is compounded by many factors, including exercise avoidance and increased risk of opportunistic infection. Exercise training can improve the health of patients with RA and potentially improve immune function; however, information on the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in RA is limited. We sought to determine whether 10 weeks of a walking-based HIIT program would be associated with health improvements as measured by disease activity and aerobic fitness. Further, we assessed whether HIIT was associated with improved immune function, specifically antimicrobial/bacterial functions of neutrophils and monocytes.

Methods: Twelve physically inactive adults aged 64 ± 7 years with either seropositive or radiographically proven (bone erosions) RA completed 10 weeks of high-intensity interval walking. Training consisted of 3 × 30-minute sessions/week of ten ≥ 60-second intervals of high intensity (80-90% VO) separated by similar bouts of lower-intensity intervals (50-60% VO). Pre- and postintervention assessments included aerobic and physical function; disease activity as measured by Disease Activity score in 28 joints (DAS28), self-perceived health, C-reactive protein (CRP), and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR); plasma interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand (CXCL)-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α concentrations; and neutrophil and monocyte phenotypes and functions.

Results: Despite minimal body composition change, cardiorespiratory fitness increased by 9% (change in both relative and absolute aerobic capacity; p < 0.001), and resting blood pressure and heart rate were both reduced (both p < 0.05). Postintervention disease activity was reduced by 38% (DAS28; p = 0.001) with significant reductions in ESR and swollen joints as well as improved self-perceived health. Neutrophil migration toward CXCL-8 (p = 0.003), phagocytosis of Escherichia coli (p = 0.03), and ROS production (p < 0.001) all increased following training. The frequency of cluster of differentiation 14-positive (CD14)/CD16 monocytes was reduced (p = 0.002), with both nonclassical (CD14/CD16) and intermediate (CD14/CD16) monocytes being reduced (both p < 0.05). Following training, the cell surface expression of intermediate monocyte Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and HLA-DR was reduced (all p < 0.05), and monocyte phagocytosis of E. coli increased (p = 0.02). No changes were observed for inflammatory markers IL-1β, IL-6, CXCL-8, IL-10, CRP, or TNF-α.

Conclusions: We report for the first time, to our knowledge, that a high-intensity interval walking protocol in older adults with stable RA is associated with reduced disease activity, improved cardiovascular fitness, and improved innate immune functions, indicative of reduced infection risk and inflammatory potential. Importantly, the exercise program was well tolerated by these patients.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02528344 . Registered on 19 August 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-018-1624-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6001166PMC
June 2018

Synovial Fluid Profile at the Time of Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction and Its Association With Cartilage Matrix Composition 3 Years After Surgery.

Am J Sports Med 2018 03 24;46(4):890-899. Epub 2018 Jan 24.

Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background: Anterior cruciate ligament tears can lead to posttraumatic osteoarthritis. In addition to biomechanical factors, changes in biochemical profiles within the knee joint after injury and anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) may play a role in accelerating joint degeneration. Hypothesis/Purpose: It was hypothesized that cartilage matrix composition after ACLR is associated with the degree of inflammatory response after initial injury. This study evaluated the association between the inflammatory response after injury-as indicated by cytokine, metalloproteinase, and cartilage degradation marker concentrations in synovial fluid-and articular cartilage degeneration, measured by T1ρ and T2 quantitative magnetic resonance imaging up to 3 years after ACLR.

Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: Twenty-six subjects from a longitudinal cohort study who underwent ACLR at a mean 8.5 weeks after injury (range, 4-19 weeks) had synovial fluid aspirated at the time of surgery. Immunoassays quantified biomarkers in synovial fluid. T1ρ and T2 values of articular cartilage were calculated with magnetic resonance scans acquired prior to surgery and at 6 months and 1, 2, and 3 years after surgery. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated among the various biomarkers. K-means clustering was used to group subjects with similar biomarker profiles. Generalized estimating equations were used to find the overall differences in T1ρ and T2 values throughout these first 3 years after surgery between the clusters while controlling for other factors.

Results: Significant and strong correlations were observed between several cytokines (interleukin 6 [IL-6], IL-8, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor α) and 2 matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1 and MMP-3) ( P < .05). Moderate correlations were found among combinations of C-terminal crosslinked telopeptide type II collagen, N-terminal telopeptide, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, and sulfated glycosaminoglycan ( P < .05). Two clusters were generated, 1 of which was characterized by lower concentrations of cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, tumor necrosis factor α) and MMP-1 and MMP-3 and higher sulfated glycosaminoglycan. This cluster was associated with significantly higher T1ρ and T2 values in the medial tibial and patellar cartilage over the first 3 years after ACLR.

Conclusion: At the time of ACLR surgery, profiles of synovial fluid inflammatory cytokines, degradative enzymes, and cartilage breakdown products show promise as predictors of abnormal cartilage tissue integrity (increased T1ρ and T2 values) throughout the first 3 years after surgery.

Clinical Relevance: The results suggest an intricate relationship between inflammation and cartilage turnover, which can in turn be influenced by timing after injury and patient factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0363546517749834DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7263374PMC
March 2018

CXCL10 is upregulated in synovium and cartilage following articular fracture.

J Orthop Res 2018 04 20;36(4):1220-1227. Epub 2017 Nov 20.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, 27710, North Carolina.

The objective of this study was to investigate the expression of the chemokine CXCL10 and its role in joint tissues following articular fracture. We hypothesized that CXCL10 is upregulated following articular fracture and contributes to cartilage degradation associated with post-traumatic arthritis (PTA). To evaluate CXCL10 expression following articular fracture, gene expression was quantified in synovial tissue from knee joints of C57BL/6 mice that develop PTA following articular fracture, and MRL/MpJ mice that are protected from PTA. CXCL10 protein expression was assessed in human cartilage in normal, osteoarthritic (OA), and post-traumatic tissue using immunohistochemistry. The effects of exogenous CXCL10, alone and in combination with IL-1, on porcine cartilage explants were assessed by quantifying the release of catabolic mediators. Synovial tissue gene expression of CXCL10 was upregulated by joint trauma, peaking one day in C57BL/6 mice (25-fold) versus 3 days post-fracture in MRL/MpJ mice (15-fold). CXCL10 protein in articular cartilage was most highly expressed following trauma compared with normal and OA tissue. In a dose dependent manner, exogenous CXCL10 significantly reduced total matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and aggrecanase activity of culture media from cartilage explants. CXCL10 also trended toward a reduction in IL-1α-stimulated total MMP activity (p = 0.09) and S-GAG (p = 0.09), but not NO release. In conclusion, CXCL10 was upregulated in synovium and chondrocytes following trauma. However, exogenous CXCL10 did not induce a catabolic response in cartilage. CXCL10 may play a role in modulating the chondrocyte response to inflammatory stimuli associated with joint injury and the progression of PTA. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 36:1220-1227, 2018.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jor.23735DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5851826PMC
April 2018

Time-Dependent Effects on Synovial Fluid Composition During the Acute Phase of Human Intra-articular Ankle Fracture.

Foot Ankle Int 2017 Oct 11;38(10):1055-1063. Epub 2017 Sep 11.

1 Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: The study objective was to examine the effect of time and fracture severity on the undiluted synovial fluid (SF) microenvironment during the acute phase following intra-articular fracture (IAF) of the human ankle.

Methods: Ankle SF from 54 patients with an acute IAF was analyzed for concentrations of 10 cytokines, 5 matrix metalloproteinases, 2 products of cartilage catabolism, and combined products of heme metabolism. All analytes were correlated with time from fracture and further analyzed for an effect of 3 time subgroups (0-2 days, 3-9 days, and ≥10 days) corresponding to timepoints for clinical ankle fracture interventions. The effect of fracture severity was determined by grouping SF according to the number of radiographic intra-articular fracture lines.

Results: Fifteen of 18 analytes were significantly correlated with time. Temporal grouping of SF revealed an initial (0-2 days) spike of pro-inflammatory (IL-12p70, IL-1β, IL-6) and anti-inflammatory (IL-10 and IL-4) cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) MMP-9, and sGAG, followed immediately (3-9 days) by products of heme metabolism and an unchallenged surge in mediators and products of cartilage catabolism (MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-3, MMP-10, and CTX-II). After 10 days, there was a decrease in pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines but a persistence of mediators of ECM catabolism. There was no clear relationship between the number of fracture lines and SF levels of analytes.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated acute temporal fluctuations following ankle IAF resulting in an overall catabolic environment by 10 days post-fracture and supports consideration of an early evacuation of the joint space to reduce the intra-articular inflammatory burden. Clinical Relavence: This study contributes to the understanding of the intra-articular events that potentially contribute to the development of posttraumatic osteoarthritis acutely following IAF in the ankle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1071100717728234DOI Listing
October 2017

Chondroitin Sulfate Inhibits Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1 Release From 3T3-L1 Adipocytes: A New Treatment Opportunity for Obesity-Related Inflammation?

Biomark Insights 2017 24;12:1177271917726964. Epub 2017 Aug 24.

Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) overproduction from inflamed adipose tissue is a major contributor to obesity-related metabolic syndromes. 3T3-L1 embryonic fibroblasts were cultured and differentiated into adipocytes using an established protocol. Adipocytes were treated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce inflammation and thus MCP-1 release. At the same time, varying concentrations of chondroitin sulfate (CS) were added in a physiologically relevant range (10-200 µg/mL) to determine its impact on MCP-1 release. Chondroitin sulfate, a natural glycosaminoglycan of connective tissue including the cartilage extracellular matrix, was chosen on the basis of our previous studies demonstrating its anti-inflammatory effect on macrophages. Because the main action of MCP-1 is to induce monocyte migration, cultured THP-1 monocytes were used to test whether CS at the highest physiologically relevant concentration could inhibit cell migration induced by human recombinant MCP-1. Chondroitin sulfate (100-200 µg/mL) inhibited MCP-1 release from inflamed adipocytes in a dose-dependent manner ( < .01, 95% confidence interval [CI]: -5.89 to -3.858 at 100 µg/mL and  < .001, 95% CI: -6.028 to -3.996 at 200 µg/mL) but had no effect on MCP-1-driven chemotaxis of THP-1 monocytes. In summary, CS could be expected to reduce macrophage infiltration into adipose tissue by reduction in adipocyte expression and release of MCP-1 and as such might reduce adipose tissue inflammation in response to pro-inflammatory stimuli such as LPS, now increasingly recognized to be relevant in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1177271917726964DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5574472PMC
August 2017

Cytokine biomarkers in tear film for primary open-angle glaucoma.

Clin Ophthalmol 2017 22;11:411-416. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Department of Ophthalmology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Purpose: To determine the utility of tear film cytokines as biomarkers for early primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG).

Methods: Patients without POAG and eye drop-naïve patients with newly diagnosed POAG were recruited from an academic hospital-based glaucoma practice. Tear films of recruited patients were obtained and analyzed using a multiplex, high-sensitivity electrochemiluminescent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for proinflammatory cytokines (IFNγ, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, and TNFα).

Results: Mean concentrations of tear film cytokines were lower in the glaucoma group for 8 of 10 cytokines tested. IL-12p70 (3.94±2.19 pg/mL in control vs 2.31±1.156 pg/mL in POAG; =0.035) was significantly lower in the tear film of patients with newly diagnosed POAG.

Conclusion: Proinflammatory cytokines were lower in eye drop-naïve newly diagnosed glaucoma patients. Tear film cytokine profiles may be used as biomarkers of early POAG.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S125364DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5328319PMC
February 2017

Does a lack of physical activity explain the rheumatoid arthritis lipid profile?

Lipids Health Dis 2017 Feb 10;16(1):39. Epub 2017 Feb 10.

Department of Medicine and Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), cardiovascular risk is associated with paradoxical reductions in total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C), and high density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C). Concentrations of small LDL (LDL-P) and HDL (HDL-P) particles are also reduced with increased inflammation and disease activity in RA patients. Here we sought to identify which measure(s) of inflammation, disease activity and cardiometabolic risk contribute most to the RA-associated lipoprotein profile.

Methods: NMR lipoprotein measurements were obtained for individuals with RA (n = 50) and age-, gender-, and body mass index (BMI)-matched controls (n = 39). Groups were compared using 39 matched pairs with 11 additional subjects used in RA only analyses. Among RA patients, relationships were determined for lipoprotein parameters with measures of disease activity, disability, pain, inflammation, body composition, insulin sensitivity and exercise. Percentage of time spent in basal activity (<1 metabolic equivalent) and exercise (≥3 metabolic equivalents) were objectively-determined.

Results: Subjects with RA had fewer total and small LDL-P as well as larger LDL and HDL size (P < 0.05). Among RA patients, pain and disability were associated with fewer small HDL-P (P < 0.05), while interleukin (IL)-6, IL-18, and TNF-α were associated with LDL size (P < 0.05). BMI, waist circumference, abdominal visceral adiposity and insulin resistance were associated with more total and small LDL-P, fewer large HDL-P, and a reduction in HDL size (P < 0.05). Most similar to the RA lipoprotein profile, more basal activity (minimal physical activity) and less exercise time were associated with fewer small LDL-P and total and small HDL-P (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: The RA-associated lipoprotein profile is associated with a lack of physical activity. As this was a cross-sectional investigation and not an intervention and was performed from 2008-13, this study was not registered in clinicaltrials.gov.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12944-017-0427-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5303308PMC
February 2017

A Multicenter Study of Early Anti-inflammatory Treatment in Patients With Acute Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear.

Am J Sports Med 2017 Feb 7;45(2):325-333. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Center, Garfield Heights, Ohio, USA.

Background: It is increasingly recognized that biochemical abnormalities of the joint precede radiographic abnormalities of posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) by as much as decades. A growing body of evidence strongly suggests that the progression from anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury to PTOA is multifactorial, involving the interplay between biomechanical disturbances and biochemical homeostasis of articular cartilage.

Purpose: The purposes of this randomized study using an acute ACL injury model were to (1) evaluate the natural progression of inflammatory and chondrodegenerative biomarkers, (2) evaluate the relationship between subjective reports of pain and inflammatory and chondrodegenerative biomarkers, and (3) determine if postinjury arthrocentesis and corticosteroid injection offer the ability to alter this biochemical cascade.

Study Design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: A total of 49 patients were randomized to 4 groups: group 1 (corticosteroid at 4 days after ACL injury, placebo injection of saline at 2 weeks), group 2 (placebo at 4 days after ACL injury, corticosteroid at 2 weeks), group 3 (corticosteroid at both time intervals), or a placebo group (saline injections at both time intervals). Patient-reported outcome measures and synovial biomarkers were collected at approximately 4 days, 11 days, and 5 weeks after injury. The change between the time points was assessed for all variables using Wilcoxon tests, and the relationship between changes in outcome scores and biomarkers were assessed by calculating Spearman ρ. Outcomes and biomarkers were also compared between the 4 groups using Kruskal-Wallis tests.

Results: No adverse events or infections were observed in any study patients. With the exception of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP-1) and tumor necrosis factor-inducible gene 6 (TSG-6), chondrodegenerative markers worsened over the first 5 weeks while all patient-reported outcomes improved during this time, regardless of treatment group. Patient-reported outcomes did not differ between patients receiving corticosteroid injections and the placebo group. However, increases in C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II), associated with collagen type II breakdown, were significantly greater in the placebo group (1.32 ± 1.10 ng/mL) than in either of the groups that received the corticosteroid injection within the first several days after injury (group 1: 0.23 ± 0.27 ng/mL [ P = .01]; group 3: 0.19 ± 0.34 ng/mL [ P = .01]).

Conclusion: PTOA begins at the time of injury and results early on in dramatic matrix changes in the knee. However, it is encouraging that early intervention with an anti-inflammatory agent was able to affect biomarkers of chondral degeneration. Should early intervention lead to meaningful changes in either the onset or severity of symptomatic PTOA, the current treatment paradigm for patients with ACL injury may have to be restructured to include early aspiration and intra-articular intervention.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT01692756.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0363546516666818DOI Listing
February 2017

Inflammatory Microenvironment Persists After Bone Healing in Intra-articular Ankle Fractures.

Foot Ankle Int 2017 May 31;38(5):479-484. Epub 2017 Jan 31.

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: Post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) is responsible for the majority of cases of ankle arthritis. While acute and end-stage intra-articular inflammation has previously been described, the state of the joint between fracture healing and end-stage PTOA remains undefined. This study characterized synovial fluid (SF) composition of ankles after bone healing of an intra-articular fracture to identify factors that may contribute to the development of PTOA.

Methods: Of an original 21 patients whose SF was characterized acutely following intra-articular ankle fractures, 7 returned for planned hardware (syndesmotic screw) removal after bone healing (approximately 6 months) and consented to a second bilateral SF collection. SF concentrations of 15 cytokines and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and 2 markers each of cartilage catabolism (CTXII and glycosaminoglycan) and hemarthrosis (biliverdin and bilirubin) were compared for previously fractured and contralateral, uninjured ankles from the same patient. Analysis was also performed to determine the effect of the number of fracture lines and involvement of soft tissue on SF composition.

Results: Interleukin (IL)-6, IL-8, MMP-1, MMP-2, and MMP-3 were significantly elevated in the SF from healed ankles compared to matched contralateral uninjured ankles at approximately 6 months after fracture. There were no differences in markers of cartilage catabolism or hemarthrosis. Only IL-1α was affected by the number of fracture lines while differences were not detected for other analytes or with respect to the involvment of soft tissue.

Conclusions: Sustained intra-articular inflammation, even after complete bone healing, was suggested by elevations of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and IL-8). In addition, elevated concentrations of MMPs were also noted and were consistent with a persistent inflammatory environment. This study suggests new evidence of persistent intra-articular inflammation after intra-articular ankle fracture healing and suggests potential mediators for PTOA development.

Clinical Relevance: This work may be relevant to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic osteoarthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1071100717690427DOI Listing
May 2017

Molecular alterations in skeletal muscle in rheumatoid arthritis are related to disease activity, physical inactivity, and disability.

Arthritis Res Ther 2017 Jan 23;19(1):12. Epub 2017 Jan 23.

Department of Medicine, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute, Duke School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Background: To identify molecular alterations in skeletal muscle in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that may contribute to ongoing disability in RA.

Methods: Persons with seropositive or erosive RA (n = 51) and control subjects matched for age, gender, race, body mass index (BMI), and physical activity (n = 51) underwent assessment of disease activity, disability, pain, physical activity and thigh muscle biopsies. Muscle tissue was used for measurement of pro-inflammatory markers, transcriptomics, and comprehensive profiling of metabolic intermediates. Groups were compared using mixed models. Bivariate associations were assessed with Spearman correlation.

Results: Compared to controls, patients with RA had 75% greater muscle concentrations of IL-6 protein (p = 0.006). In patients with RA, muscle concentrations of inflammatory markers were positively associated (p < 0.05 for all) with disease activity (IL-1β, IL-8), disability (IL-1β, IL-6), pain (IL-1β, TNF-α, toll-like receptor (TLR)-4), and physical inactivity (IL-1β, IL-6). Muscle cytokines were not related to corresponding systemic cytokines. Prominent among the gene sets differentially expressed in muscles in RA versus controls were those involved in skeletal muscle repair processes and glycolytic metabolism. Metabolic profiling revealed 46% higher concentrations of pyruvate in muscle in RA (p < 0.05), and strong positive correlation between levels of amino acids involved in fibrosis (arginine, ornithine, proline, and glycine) and disability (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: RA is accompanied by broad-ranging molecular alterations in skeletal muscle. Analysis of inflammatory markers, gene expression, and metabolic intermediates linked disease-related disruptions in muscle inflammatory signaling, remodeling, and metabolic programming to physical inactivity and disability. Thus, skeletal muscle dysfunction might contribute to a viscous cycle of RA disease activity, physical inactivity, and disability.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-016-1215-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5260091PMC
January 2017

Cartilage biomarkers in the osteoarthropathy of alkaptonuria reveal low turnover and accelerated ageing.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2017 01 7;56(1):156-164. Epub 2016 Oct 7.

Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute.

Objective: Alkaptonuria (AKU) is a rare autosomal recessive disease resulting from a single enzyme deficiency in tyrosine metabolism. As a result, homogentisic acid cannot be metabolized, causing systemic increases. Over time, homogentisic acid polymerizes and deposits in collagenous tissues, leading to ochronosis. Typically, this occurs in joint cartilages, leading to an early onset, rapidly progressing osteoarthropathy. The aim of this study was to examine tissue turnover in cartilage affected by ochronosis and its role in disease initiation and progression.

Methods: With informed patient consent, hip and knee cartilages were obtained at surgery for arthropathy due to AKU (n = 6; 2 knees/4 hips) and OA (n = 12; 5 knees/7 hips); healthy non-arthritic (non-OA n = 6; 1 knee/5 hips) cartilages were obtained as waste from trauma surgery. We measured cartilage concentrations (normalized to dry weight) of racemized aspartate, GAG, COMP and deamidated COMP (D-COMP). Unpaired AKU, OA and non-OA samples were compared by non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: Despite more extractable total protein being obtained from AKU cartilage than from OA or non-OA cartilage, there was significantly less extractable GAG, COMP and D-COMP in AKU samples compared with OA and non-OA comparators. Racemized Asx (aspartate and asparagine) was significantly enriched in AKU cartilage compared with in OA cartilage.

Conclusions: These novel data represent the first examination of cartilage matrix components in a sample of patients with AKU, representing almost 10% of the known UK alkaptonuric population. Compared with OA and non-OA, AKU cartilage demonstrates a very low turnover state and has low levels of extractable matrix proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kew355DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5188995PMC
January 2017
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