Osteoarthritis, a highly prevalent degenerative joint disorder, is characterized by joint pain and disability. Available treatments fail to modify osteoarthritis progression and decrease joint pain effectively. Here, we show that intermittent parathyroid hormone (iPTH) attenuates osteoarthritis pain by inhibiting subchondral sensory innervation, subchondral bone deterioration, and articular cartilage degeneration in a destabilized medial meniscus (DMM) mouse model. We found that subchondral sensory innervation for osteoarthritis pain was significantly decreased in PTH-treated DMM mice compared with vehicle-treated DMM mice. In parallel, deterioration of subchondral bone microarchitecture in DMM mice was attenuated by iPTH treatment. Increased level of prostaglandin E2 in subchondral bone of DMM mice was reduced by iPTH treatment. Furthermore, uncoupled subchondral bone remodeling caused by increased transforming growth factor β signaling was regulated by PTH-induced endocytosis of the PTH type 1 receptor–transforming growth factor β type 2 receptor complex. Notably, iPTH improved subchondral bone microarchitecture, and decreased level of prostaglandin E2 and sensory innervation of subchondral bone in DMM mice by acting specifically through PTH type 1 receptor in Nestin+ mesenchymal stromal cells. Thus, iPTH could be a potential disease-modifying therapy for osteoarthritis.
All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files
- Xu Cao
- Xu Cao
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Ethics Statement: All animal experiments were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use of Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine. (Protocol number: Mo18M308).
- Di Chen
© 2021, Sun et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Although there are several efficacious vaccines against COVID-19, vaccination rates in many regions around the world remain insufficient to prevent continued high disease burden and emergence of viral variants. Repurposing of existing therapeutics that prevent or mitigate severe COVID-19 could help to address these challenges. The objective of this study was to determine whether prior use of bisphosphonates is associated with reduced incidence and/or severity of COVID-19.
A retrospective cohort study utilizing payer-complete health insurance claims data from 8,239,790 patients with continuous medical and prescription insurance January 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020 was performed. The primary exposure of interest was use of any bisphosphonate from January 1, 2019 to February 29, 2020. Bisphosphonate users were identified as patients having at least one bisphosphonate claim during this period, who were then 1:1 propensity score-matched to bisphosphonate non-users by age, gender, insurance type, primary-care-provider visit in 2019, and comorbidity burden. Main outcomes of interest included: (a) any testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection; (b) COVID-19 diagnosis; and (c) hospitalization with a COVID-19 diagnosis between March 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Multiple sensitivity analyses were also performed to assess core study outcomes amongst more restrictive matches between BP users/non-users, as well as assessing the relationship between BP-use and other respiratory infections (pneumonia, acute bronchitis) both during the same study period as well as before the COVID outbreak.
A total of 7,906,603 patients for whom continuous medical and prescription insurance information was available were selected. A total of 450,366 bisphosphonate users were identified and 1:1 propensity score-matched to bisphosphonate non-users. Bisphosphonate users had lower odds ratios (OR) of testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection (OR = 0.22; 95%CI:0.21–0.23; p<0.001), COVID-19 diagnosis (OR = 0.23; 95%CI:0.22–0.24; p<0.001), and COVID-19-related hospitalization (OR = 0.26; 95%CI:0.24–0.29; p<0.001). Sensitivity analyses yielded results consistent with the primary analysis. Bisphosphonate-use was also associated with decreased odds of acute bronchitis (OR = 0.23; 95%CI:0.22–0.23; p<0.001) or pneumonia (OR = 0.32; 95%CI:0.31–0.34; p<0.001) in 2019, suggesting that bisphosphonates may protect against respiratory infections by a variety of pathogens, including but not limited to SARS-CoV-2.
Prior bisphosphonate-use was associated with dramatically reduced odds of SARS-CoV-2 testing, COVID-19 diagnosis, and COVID-19-related hospitalizations. Prospective clinical trials will be required to establish a causal role for bisphosphonate-use in COVID-19-related outcomes.
This study was supported by NIH grants, AR068383 and AI155865, a grant from MassCPR (to UHvA) and a CRI Irvington postdoctoral fellowship, CRI2453 (to PH).
To systematically identify cell types in the human ligament, investigate how ligamental cell identities, functions, and interactions participated in the process of ligamental degeneration, and explore the changes of ligamental microenvironment homeostasis in the disease progression.
Using single-cell RNA sequencing and spatial RNA sequencing of approximately 49,356 cells, we created a comprehensive cell atlas of healthy and degenerated human anterior cruciate ligaments. We explored the variations of the cell subtypes’ spatial distributions and the different processes involved in the disease progression, linked them with the ligamental degeneration process using computational analysis, and verified findings with immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining.
We identified new fibroblast subgroups that contributed to the disease, mapped out their spatial distribution in the tissue and revealed two dynamic trajectories in the process of the degenerative process. We compared the cellular interactions between different tissue states and identified important signaling pathways that may contribute to the disease.
This cell atlas provides the molecular foundation for investigating how ligamental cell identities, biochemical functions, and interactions contributed to the ligamental degeneration process. The discoveries revealed the pathogenesis of ligamental degeneration at the single-cell and spatial level, which is characterized by extracellular matrix remodeling. Our results provide new insights into the control of ligamental degeneration and potential clues to developing novel diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
This study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81972123, 82172508, 82372490) and 1.3.5 Project for Disciplines of Excellence of West China Hospital Sichuan University (ZYJC21030, ZY2017301).