Objective: To identify the genes up-regulated by interleukin-1 (IL-1) in combination with oncostatin M (OSM) in chondrocytes that may be involved in mechanisms of cartilage repair and degradation.
Methods: Gene microarray and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) experiments were performed using RNA from SW1353 chondrocytes and primary human articular chondrocytes. Sections prepared from murine joints, injected with adenovirus vectors overexpressing IL-1 and/or OSM, were analyzed by immunohistochemistry for selected proteins.
Results: The combination of IL-1 and OSM markedly up-regulated the expression of various genes, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cytokines, chemokines, extracellular matrix components, and genes involved in signal transduction. Real-time PCR confirmed a synergistic induction of several MMPs, activin A, pentraxin 3 (PTX-3), and IL-8. The in vivo findings further indicated that stimulation with IL-1 plus OSM induced protein expression of activin A, PTX-3, and KC (the murine homolog of IL-8), as compared with the changes induced by individual cytokine treatment and unstimulated controls.
Conclusion: The results confirm that the potent proinflammatory cytokine combination of IL-1 plus OSM synergistically and coordinately up-regulates many genes and several MMPs. Moreover, chondrocytes exhibit a potential repair response following this procatabolic stimulus such that the repair mechanisms are ultimately overwhelmed by degradative processes in the cartilage. This gene-profiling study provides insight into the complex processes that mediate joint disease in the inflammatory arthritides through the coordinated expression of multiple genes.