Camptodactyly-arthropathy-coxa vara-pericarditis (CACP) syndrome leads to diarthrodial joint arthropathy and is caused by the absence of lubricin (proteoglycan 4—PRG4), a surface-active mucinous glycoprotein responsible for lubricating articular cartilage. In this study, mice lacking the orthologous gene Prg4 served as a model that recapitulates the destructive arthrosis that involves biofouling of cartilage by serum proteins in lieu of Prg4. This study hypothesized that Prg4-deficient mice would demonstrate a quadruped gait change and decreased markers of mitochondrial dyscrasia, following intra-articular injection of both hindlimbs with recombinant human PRG4 (rhPRG4). Prg4−/− (N = 44) mice of both sexes were injected with rhPRG4 and gait alterations were studied at post-injection day 3 and 6, before joints were harvested for immunohistochemistry for caspase-3 activation. Increased stance and propulsion was shown at 3 days post-injection in male mice. There were significantly fewer caspase-3-positive chondrocytes in tibiofemoral cartilage from rhPRG4-injected mice. The mitochondrial gene Mt-tn, and myosin heavy (Myh7) and light chains (Myl2 and Myl3), known to play a cytoskeletal stabilizing role, were significantly upregulated in both sexes (RNA-Seq) following IA rhPRG4. Chondrocyte mitochondrial dyscrasias attributable to the arthrosis in CACP may be mitigated by IA rhPRG4. In a supporting in vitro crystal microbalance experiment, molecular fouling by albumin did not block the surface activity of rhPRG4.
Yang, D.S.; Dickerson, E.E.; Zhang, L.X.; Richendrfer, H.; Karamchedu, P.N.; Badger, G.J.; Schmidt, T.A.; Fredericks, A.M.; Elsaid, K.A.; Jay, G.D. Quadruped Gait and Regulation of Apoptotic Factors in Tibiofemoral Joints following Intra-Articular rhPRG4 Injection in Prg4 Null Mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2022, 23, 4245. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms23084245
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