Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a leading cause of physical disability. At the early stage of knee OA, the increase in synovial fluid cytokine concentrations could contribute to the pathogenesis of OA by degrading articular cartilage. It is unknown, however, if inflammatory cytokines increase systemically at the early or advanced stage of knee OA. The systemic increase of inflammatory cytokines could be detrimental to the endogenous status of micronutrients that protect against excessive inflammation and cytokine-mediated events. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that an increase in serum cytokines associate with a decrease in circulating micronutrients in subjects with early compared to advanced knee OA. Advanced knee OA subjects (n=14) displayed radiographic, pain, and muscular weakness symptoms of knee OA. Early knee OA subjects (n=14) were matched (age, gender, and body mass index) to the advanced OA group and displayed one or two of the aforementioned symptoms of knee OA. Inflammatory cytokines, vitamins C (ascorbic acid), D (25-hydroxyvitamin D), and E (α- and γ-tocopherols), and β-carotene were measured in fasting blood samples. In the early OA group, serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-5, IL-6, IL-12, and IL-13 concentrations were significantly (all p<0.05) increased. Circulating ascorbic acid, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, α- and γ-tocopherol's, and β-carotene concentrations were not significantly different between groups. Based on these preliminary results, we conclude that the systemic increase of inflammatory cytokines is not associated with a decrease in circulating micronutrients in subjects with early compared to advanced knee OA.
Keywords: Cytokines; Knee osteoarthritis; Micronutrients.
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