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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Jun 2023 - 30 Jun 2023


Human Studies, Molecular/Cellular, Neurobiology

Arthritis, Inflammation/Inflammatory

2023 Jun 26

Cannabis Cannabinoid Res


Monoacylglycerol Lipase and Cyclooxygenase-2 Expression in Osteoarthritic Human Knees.


Yu M, Gordon C, Studholme K, Hassan M, Sadar F, Khan A, Nicholson J, Komatsu DE, Kaczocha M


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative joint disease that presents with significant pain and functional disability. The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol activates cannabinoid receptors to reduce pain while its hydrolysis by the enzyme monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) generates arachidonic acid, the direct precursor to proalgesic eicosanoids synthesized by cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), highlighting the potential for crosstalk between MAGL and COX-2. While COX-2 expression in human OA cartilage has been described, the distribution of MAGL in knee osteochondral tissue has not been reported and was the goal of the current study. MAGL and COX-2 expression in International Cartilage Repair Society grade II and grade IV knee osteochondral tissue obtained from male and female subjects with OA was investigated through immunohistochemistry. Immunolocalization of both proteins was investigated within articular cartilage and subchondral bone. MAGL is expressed throughout the cartilage of grade II arthritic tissue, with prominent distribution in the superficial and deep zones. Elevated expression of MAGL was evident in grade IV samples, with additional distribution observed in subchondral bone. COX-2 expression followed a similar pattern, with uniform distribution in cartilage and increased expression in grade IV tissue. This study establishes MAGL expression in arthritic cartilage and subchondral bone of subjects with OA. The proximity between MAGL and COX-2 suggests the potential for crosstalk between endocannabinoid hydrolysis and eicosanoid signaling in the maintenance of OA pain.