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Open Access Research article

Low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 5 governs Wnt-mediated osteoarthritic cartilage destruction

Youngnim Shin1, Yun Hyun Huh2, Kieun Kim3, Suyeon Kim3, Ka Hyon Park3, Jeong-Tae Koh34, Jang-Soo Chun1 and Je-Hwang Ryu34*

Author Affiliations

1 Cell Dynamics Research Center and School of Life Sciences, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea

2 BioImaging and Cell Dynamics Research Center, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, 123 Cheomdangwagi-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-712, Republic of Korea

3 Department of Pharmacology and Dental Therapeutics, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University, 77 Yongbong-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea

4 Research Center for Biomineralization Disorders, School of Dentistry, Chonnam National University, 77 Yongbong-ro, Buk-gu, Gwangju 500-757, Republic of Korea

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2014, 16:R37  doi:10.1186/ar4466

Published: 31 January 2014

Abstract

Introduction

Wnt ligands bind to low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein (LRP) 5 or 6, triggering a cascade of downstream events that include β-catenin signaling. Here we explored the roles of LRP5 in interleukin 1β (IL-1β)- or Wnt-mediated osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage destruction in mice.

Methods

The expression levels of LRP5, type II collagen, and catabolic factors were determined in mouse articular chondrocytes, human OA cartilage, and mouse experimental OA cartilage. Experimental OA in wild-type, Lrp5 total knockout (Lrp5-/-) and chondrocyte-specific knockout (Lrp5fl/fl;Col2a1-cre) mice was caused by aging, destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM), or intra-articular injection of collagenase. The role of LRP5 was confirmed in vitro by small interfering RNA–mediated knockdown of Lrp5 or in Lrp5-/- cells treated with IL-1β or Wnt proteins.

Results

IL-1β treatment increased the expression of LRP5 (but not LRP6) via JNK and NF-κB signaling. LRP5 was upregulated in human and mouse OA cartilage, and Lrp5 deficiency in mice inhibited cartilage destruction. Treatment with IL-1β or Wnt decreased the level of Col2a1 and increased those of Mmp3 or Mmp13, whereas Lrp5 knockdown ameliorated these effects. In addition, we found that the functions of LRP5 in arthritic cartilage were subject to transcriptional activation by β-catenin. Moreover, Lrp5-/- and Lrp5fl/fl;Col2a1-cre mice exhibited decreased cartilage destruction (and related changes in gene expression) in response to experimental OA.

Conclusions

Our findings indicate that LRP5 (but not LRP6) plays an essential role in Wnt/β-catenin-signaling-mediated OA cartilage destruction in part by regulating the expression levels of type II collagen, MMP3, and MMP13.