Objective. Obesity and joint injury are primary risk factors for osteoarthritis (OA) that involve potential alterations in the biomechanical and inflammatory environments of the joint. Posttraumatic arthritis is a frequent long-term complication of intraarticular fractures. Obesity has been linked to primary OA and may potentially contribute to the development of posttraumatic arthritis by a variety of mechanisms. The objectives of this study were to determine whether dietinduced obesity influences the severity of posttraumatic arthritis in mice and to examine the interrelationships between joint degeneration and serum levels of the inflammatory cytokines and adipokines that are involved in this response. Methods. C57BL/6 mice were fed either normal chow (13% fat) or a high-fat diet (60% fat) starting at 4 weeks of age. At 16 weeks of age, half of the mice in each group were subjected to a closed intraarticular fracture of the left knee. At 8 weeks postfracture, knee OA was assessed by cartilage and synovium histology in addition to bone morphology. Serum cytokine concentrations were determined with multiplex assays. Results. Fractured knee joints of mice receiving a high-fat diet showed significantly increased OA degeneration compared with nonfractured contralateral control knees, while fractured knee joints of mice receiving a low-fat diet did not demonstrate significant differences from nonfractured contralateral control knees. A high-fat diet increased serum concentrations of interleukin-12p70 (IL-12p70), IL-6, and keratinocytederived chemokine while decreasing adiponectin concentrations. Joint injury also increased IL-12p70 concentrations in mice receiving a high-fat diet. Systemic levels of adiponectin were inversely correlated with synovial inflammation in control limbs. Conclusion. Diet-induced obesity significantly increased the severity of OA following intraarticular fracture. Obesity and joint injury together can alter systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines such as IL- 12p70.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3220-3230
Number of pages11
JournalArthritis and rheumatism
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


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