The Inhibition of Subchondral Bone Lesions Significantly Reversed the Weight-Bearing Deficit and the Overexpression of CGRP in DRG Neurons, GFAP and Iba-1 in the Spinal Dorsal Horn in the Monosodium Iodoacetate Induced Model of Osteoarthritis Pain
Degang Yu, Fengxiang Liu, Ming Liu, Xin Zhao, Xiaoqing Wang, Yang Li, Yuanqing Mao, Zhenan Zhu
Chronic pain is the most prominent and disabling symptom of osteoarthritis (OA). Clinical data suggest that subchondral bone lesions contribute to the occurrence of joint pain. The present study investigated the effect of the inhibition of subchondral bone lesions on joint pain.
Osteoarthritic pain was induced by an injection of monosodium iodoacetate (MIA) into the rat knee joint. Zoledronic acid (ZOL), a third generation of bisphosphonate, was used to inhibit subchondral bone lesions. Joint histomorphology was evaluated using X-ray micro computed tomography scanning and hematoxylin-eosin staining. The activity of osteoclast in subchondral bone was evaluated using tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining. Joint pain was evaluated using weight-bearing asymmetry, the expression of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG), and spinal glial activation status using glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule-1 (Iba-1) immunofluorescence. Afferent neurons in the DRGs that innervated the joints were identified using retrograde fluorogold labeling.
MIA injections induced significant histomorphological alterations and joint pain. The inhibition of subchondral bone lesions by ZOL significantly reduced the MIA-induced weight-bearing deficit and overexpression of CGRP in DRG neurons, GFAP and Iba-1 in the spinal dorsal horn at 3 and 6 weeks after MIA injection; however, joint swelling and synovial reaction were unaffected.
The inhibition of subchondral bone lesions alleviated joint pain. Subchondral bone lesions should be a key target in the management of osteoarthritic joint pain.