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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Exosomes from IL-1β stimulated synovial fibroblasts induce osteoarthritic changes in articular chondrocytes

Tomohiro Kato1*, Shigeru Miyaki12, Hiroyuki Ishitobi2, Yoshihiro Nakamura1, Tomoyuki Nakasa1, Martin K Lotz3 and Mitsuo Ochi1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Hiroshima University, 1-2-3 Kasumi Minami-ku, Hiroshima, Japan

2 Department of Regenerative Medicine, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan

3 Department of Molecular and Experimental Medicine, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2014, 16:R163  doi:10.1186/ar4679

Published: 4 August 2014

Abstract

Introduction

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a whole joint disease, and characterized by progressive degradation of articular cartilage, synovial hyperplasia, bone remodeling and angiogenesis in various joint tissues. Exosomes are a type of microvesicles (MVs) that may play a role in tissue-tissue and cell-cell communication in homeostasis and diseases. We hypothesized that exosomes function in a novel regulatory network that contributes to OA pathogenesis and examined the function of exosomes in communication among joint tissue cells.

Methods

Human synovial fibroblasts (SFB) and articular chondrocytes were obtained from normal knee joints. Exosomes isolated from conditioned medium of SFB were analyzed for size, numbers, markers and function. Normal articular chondrocytes were treated with exosomes from SFB, and Interleukin-1β (IL-1β) stimulated SFB. OA-related genes expression was quantified using real-time PCR. To analyze exosome effects on cartilage tissue, we performed glycosaminoglycan release assay. Angiogenic activity of these exosomes was tested in migration and tube formation assays. Cytokines and miRNAs in exosomes were analyzed by Bio-Plex multiplex assay and NanoString analysis.

Results

Exosomes from IL-1β stimulated SFB significantly up-regulated MMP-13 and ADAMTS-5 expression in articular chondrocytes, and down-regulated COL2A1 and ACAN compared with SFB derived exosomes. Migration and tube formation activity were significantly higher in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) treated with the exosomes from IL-1β stimulated SFB, which also induced significantly more proteoglycan release from cartilage explants. Inflammatory cytokines, IL-6, MMP-3 and VEGF in exosomes were only detectable at low level. IL-1β, TNFα MMP-9 and MMP-13 were not detectable in exosomes. NanoString analysis showed that levels of 50 miRNAs were differentially expressed in exosomes from IL-1β stimulated SFB compared to non-stimulated SFB.

Conclusions

Exosomes from IL-1β stimulated SFB induce OA-like changes both in vitro and in ex vivo models. Exosomes represent a novel mechanism by which pathogenic signals are communicated among different cell types in OA-affected joints.