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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Sep 2022 - 30 Sep 2022

Human Studies

2022 Aug 29




Infiltration Profile of Regulatory T Cells in Osteoarthritis-Related Pain and Disability.


Nees T A, Zhang J A, Platzer H, Walker T, Reiner T, Tripel E, Moradi B, Rosshirt N
Biomedicines. 2022 Aug 29; 10(9).
PMID: 36140212.


Emerging evidence indicates that regulatory T cells (Treg) intervene in the inflammatory processes that drive osteoarthritis (OA). However, whether polarized Tregs affect clinical features of the disease in the short- or long-term, and if so, what their role in OA-related pain and functional disability really is, remains elusive. Thus, the aim of the current study was to characterize the infiltration profile of Tregs in systemic (peripheral blood) and joint-derived (synovial fluid and synovial membrane) samples from patients with knee OA in relation to OA-induced symptoms. To this end, Treg infiltration (CD4CD25 CD127) was analyzed in matched samples of peripheral blood (PB), synovial fluid (SF) and synovial membrane (SM) from a total of 47 patients undergoing elective knee arthroplasty using flow cytometry. At the same time, knee pain and function were assessed and correlated with Treg proportions in different compartments (PB, SF, SM). Interestingly, matched-pair analysis revealed significantly higher Treg proportions in joint-derived samples than in PB, which was mainly attributed to the high Treg frequency in SF. Moreover, we found significant associations between infiltrating Tregs and OA-related symptoms which indicate that lower Treg proportions-especially in the SM-are related to increased pain and functional disability in knee OA. In conclusion, this study highlights the importance of local cellular inflammatory processes in OA pathology. Intra-articular Treg infiltration might play an important role not only in OA pathogenesis but also in the development of OA-related symptoms.