While there is emerging data on how duration of symptoms prior to surgery relates to outcomes of patients undergoing arthroscopic partial meniscectomy, little is known about how duration of symptoms relates to the biology of the knee in these patients. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that duration of symptoms prior to arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is associated with expression of osteoarthritis (OA)-related genes in the meniscus. We collected resected meniscus from patients (N = 76) undergoing clinically indicated arthroscopic partial meniscectomy from knees without advanced degenerative changes. RNA from 64 patients was analyzed for 28 candidate OA transcripts by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). RNA was also probed for identification of novel genes by RNA microarray in 12 patients followed by validation of selected candidates by real-time PCR. The association of gene expression with duration of symptoms prior to surgery was tested. Additional screening was performed with known OA genetic risk alleles assembled from published literature and with gene transcripts differentially expressed between non-OA and OA cartilage and menisci. Our data revealed that duration of symptoms did not predict expression of OA genes in the meniscus, other than limited association with CXCL3, BMP2, and HLA-DQA1. Microarray identified new genes and pathways with unknown role(s) in meniscus injury and OA and validation of a subset of genes by real-time PCR showed expression pattern highly concordant with the microarray data. While duration of symptoms prior to arthroscopic partial meniscectomy does not significantly alter the expression of OA related genes, the association with novel genes and pathways deserves further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1268-1278
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020


  • meniscus tear
  • osteoarthritis
  • risk alleles
  • time from injury
  • transcriptome analysis


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