Synovial cell cross-talk with cartilage plays a major role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.
We elucidated the molecular cross-talk between cartilage and synovium in osteoarthritis, the most widespread arthritis in the world, using the powerful tool of single-cell RNA-sequencing. Multiple cell types were identified based on profiling of 10,640 synoviocytes and 26,192 chondrocytes: 12 distinct synovial cell types and 7 distinct articular chondrocyte phenotypes from matched tissues. Intact cartilage was enriched for homeostatic and hypertrophic chondrocytes, while damaged cartilage was enriched for prefibro- and fibro-, regulatory, reparative and prehypertrophic chondrocytes. A total of 61 cytokines and growth factors were predicted to regulate the 7 chondrocyte cell phenotypes. Based on production by > 1% of cells, 55% of the cytokines were produced by synovial cells (39% exclusive to synoviocytes and not expressed by chondrocytes) and their presence in osteoarthritic synovial fluid confirmed. The synoviocytes producing IL-1beta (a classic pathogenic cytokine in osteoarthritis), mainly inflammatory macrophages and dendritic cells, were characterized by co-expression of surface proteins corresponding to HLA-DQA1, HLA-DQA2, OLR1 or TLR2. Strategies to deplete these pathogenic intra-articular cell subpopulations could be a therapeutic option for human osteoarthritis.
Chou, C-H; Jain, V; Gibson, J; Attarian, DE; Haraden, CA; Yohn, CB; Laberge, R-M; Gregory, S; Kraus, VB
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