BMC musculoskeletal disorders 2017 11 0318(1) 427 doi 10.1186/s12891-017-1786-8
Osteoarthritis research has been most commonly performed in the setting of the articular cartilage of the knee. To the best of our knowledge, no studies have evaluated the role of adiponectin in osteoarthritis of the lumbar facet joint (FJOA). Therefore, in this study, we explored whether adiponectin was expressed in the lumbar facet joints and evaluated the role of adiponectin in FJOA.
We enrolled patients who underwent lumbar computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at the Orthopedic Department of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang from May 2015 to June 2016. Lumbar facet joints were obtained from 135 patients at the time of lumbar fusion surgery and divided into three groups according to the Weishaupt grade. Cytokine levels in the subchondral bones were evaluated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs), and adiponectin levels were determined by immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).
By ELISA, adiponectin levels were examined in the subchondral bone for lumbar facet joint, and adiponectin was found to be negatively correlated with BMI in 52 patients (p < 0.001, r = -0.861). By immunohistochemistry analysis, adiponectin was found to be expressed in the subchondral bone of the lumbar facet, whereas the cartilage area was negative for adiponectin expression. Immunostaining intensity and area was related to the degeneration of the lumbar facet joint, and, in our research, considerably decreased staining intensity and area were observed in more severely degenerated lumbar facet joints. Furthermore, the expression of adiponectin was also reduced in degenerated lumbar facet joints, and the level of decline corresponded to degeneration detected by western blotting and qPCR analysis (n = 27, p < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS
Adiponectin expression was observed in the subchondral bone of the lumbar facet joint and decreased as the degree of degeneration increased. Thus, the results of this study provide new insights into the relationship between adiponectin and osteoarthritis.