Cartilage-Specific Knockout of the Mechanosensory Ion Channel TRPV4 Decreases Age-Related Osteoarthritis

Christopher J. O'Conor, Sendhilnathan Ramalingam, Nicole A. Zelenski, Halei C. Benefield, Isaura Rigo, Dianne Little, Chia Lung Wu, Di Chen, Wolfgang Liedtke, Amy L. McNulty, Farshid Guilak

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68 Scopus citations


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive degenerative disease of articular cartilage and surrounding tissues, and is associated with both advanced age and joint injury. Biomechanical factors play a critical role in the onset and progression of OA, yet the mechanisms through which physiologic or pathologic mechanical signals are transduced into a cellular response are not well understood. Defining the role of mechanosensory pathways in cartilage during OA pathogenesis may yield novel strategies or targets for the treatment of OA. The transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) ion channel transduces mechanical loading of articular cartilage via the generation of intracellular calcium ion transients. Using tissue-specific, inducible Trpv4 gene-targeted mice, we demonstrate that loss of TRPV4-mediated cartilage mechanotransduction in adulthood reduces the severity of aging-associated OA. However, loss of chondrocyte TRPV4 did not prevent OA development following destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM). These results highlight potentially distinct roles of TRPV4-mediated cartilage mechanotransduction in age-related and post-traumatic OA, and point to a novel disease-modifying strategy to therapeutically target the TRPV4-mediated mechanotransduction pathway for the treatment of aging-associated OA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number29053
JournalScientific reports
StatePublished - Jul 8 2016


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