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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Dec 2023 - 8 Dec 2023

2023 Dec 04

Sci Rep




A causative role for periarticular skeletal muscle weakness in the progression of joint damage and pain in OA.


Kim JR, Pham THN, Kim WU, Kim HA


Although osteoarthritis (OA) is regarded as a disease of the articular cartilage, recent research has demonstrated alterations in periarticular muscles that surround the affected joint. Here, we investigated changes in periarticular muscle during the progression of OA, as well as the cause-and-effect relationship between muscle weakness and OA, in a mouse model of OA by destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM). Pathological phenotypes in the periarticular muscles were assessed in the early and late stages of OA by DMM. OA pathology and pain behavior in the mice after DMM induction were examined in response to periarticular muscle weakness induced by multiple rounds of barium chloride (BaCl) injections. The examinations were also performed in myostatin knockout mice with strengthened muscle phenotypes by muscle hypertrophy. Morphological alterations in the tibialis anterior (TA) and quadriceps muscles in DMM mice included variations in muscle-fiber size, aberrant extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, inflammatory cell infiltration, and decreased muscle mass. Periarticular muscle fibers isolated from DMM mice showed reductions in the number of satellite cells and myogenic capacity of primary myoblast, as well as proliferation. DMM + muscle injury mice also showed exacerbated joint degeneration compared to the DMM vehicles. Myostatin knockout mice were characterized by attenuated OA and the complete abrogation of pain behavior after DMM. Our results suggest an association between muscle weakness and OA progression and pain.