Is there crosstalk between subchondral bone, cartilage, and meniscus in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis?
O. Şahap Atik1, Deniz Erdoğan2, Cemile Merve Seymen2, Hasan Hüseyin Bozkurt1, Gülnur Take Kaplanoğlu2
1Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology, Medical Faculty of Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
2Department of Histology and Embryology, Medical Faculty of Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey
Keywords: Cartilage; light microscopy; meniscus; osteoarthritis; subchondral bone; transmission electron microscopy.
Objectives: This study aims to investigate if there is any crosstalk between subchondral bone, cartilage, and meniscus in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.
Patients and methods: Twelve female patients (mean age 64 years; range 59 to 71 years) with osteoarthritis in medial compartment were included in the study. The samples of subchondral bone, cartilage and meniscus were obtained during total knee arthroplasty. Degenerated tissue samples obtained from medial compartment were used as the experimental group (12 samples of subchondral bone and cartilage, 1x1 cm each; and 12 samples of meniscus, 1x1 cm each). Healthy tissue samples obtained from lateral compartment were used as the control group (12 samples of subchondral bone and cartilage; 1x1 cm each; and 12 samples of meniscus, 1x1 cm each). After decalcification, tissue samples were evaluated with light and transmission electron microscopy.
Results: In the experimental group, light microscopic evaluation of subchondral bone samples demonstrated that the cartilage-to-bone transition region had an irregular structure. Degenerated cartilage cells were observed in the transition region and bone cells were significantly corrupted. In the experimental group, light microscopic evaluation of the meniscus samples demonstrated that the intercellular tissue was partly corrupted. Separation and concentration of the collagen fibers were evident. All findings were supported with ultra structural evaluations.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate that degeneration of subchondral bone, cartilage, and meniscus probably plays a role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis with crosstalk.