5 years ago

Activation of a chondrocyte volume-sensitive Cl− conductance prior to macroscopic cartilage lesion formation in the rabbit knee anterior cruciate ligament transection osteoarthritis model

The anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) rabbit osteoarthritis (OA) model confers permanent knee instability and induces joint degeneration. The degeneration process is complex, but includes chondrocyte apoptosis and OA-like loss of cartilage integrity. Previously, we reported that activation of a volume-sensitive Cl current (I Cl,vol) can mediate cell shrinkage and apoptosis in rabbit articular chondrocytes. Our objective was therefore to investigate whether I Cl,vol was activated in the early stages of the rabbit ACLT OA model. Design Adult Rabbits underwent unilateral ACLT and contralateral arthrotomy (sham) surgery. Rabbits were euthanized at 2 or 4 weeks. Samples were analyzed histologically and with assays of cell volume, apoptosis and electrophysiological characterization of I Cl,vol. Results At 2 and 4 weeks post ACLT cartilage appeared histologically normal, nevertheless cell swelling and caspase 3/7 activity were both significantly increased compared to sham controls. In cell-volume experiments, exposure of chondrocytes to hypotonic solution led to a greater increase in cell size in ACLT compared to controls. Caspase-3/7 activity, an indicator of apoptosis, was elevated in both ACLT 2wk and 4wk. Whole-cell currents were recorded with patch clamp of chondrocytes in iso-osmotic and hypo-osmotic external solutions under conditions where Na+, K+ and Ca2+ currents were minimized. ACLT treatment resulted in a large increase in hypotonic-activated chloride conductance. Conclusion Changes in chondrocyte ion channels take place prior to the onset of apparent cartilage loss in the ACLT rabbit model of OA. Further studies are needed to investigate if pharmacological inhibition of I Cl,vol decreases progression of OA in animal models.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1063458416301078

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