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Increase in mast cell marker expression in the synovium of obese patients with osteoarthritis of the knee

Authors Uchida K, Takano S, Inoue G, Iwase D, Aikawa J, Takata K, Tazawa R, Kawakubo A, Sekiguchi H, Takaso M

Received 14 January 2019

Accepted for publication 4 March 2019

Published 21 March 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 377—382

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/DMSO.S201523

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Amy Norman

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Ming-Hui Zou


Kentaro Uchida,1 Shotaro Takano,1 Gen Inoue,1 Dai Iwase,1 Jun Aikawa,1 Ken Takata,1 Ryo Tazawa,1 Ayumu Kawakubo,1 Hiroyuki Sekiguchi,2 Masashi Takaso1

1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara City, Kanagawa 252–0374, Japan; 2Shonan University of Medical Sciences Research Institute, Chigasaki City, Kanagawa 253–0083, Japan

Purpose: While research suggests that obesity is a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis (KOA), the mechanisms are not fully understood. Mast cell (MC) numbers are increased in the osteoarthritic synovium and in the adipose tissue of obese individuals. We hypothesized that MC numbers are increased in the synovium of obese KOA patients. This study investigated MC marker and MC-generated cytokine/growth factor expression in the synovium of obese KOA patients.
Patients and methods: Patients radiographically diagnosed with KOA (male: 38, female: 132) were allocated to three groups based on their body mass index (BMI): normal (<25 kg/m2), overweight (25–29.99 kg/m2) and obese (≥30 kg/m2), according to the World Health Organization BMI classification. We used real-time polymerase chain reaction to compare the expression of MC markers (CD117, CD203c) and growth factors/cytokines (FGF2, VEGFA, TNFA, and IL8) in patients’ synovium among the groups.
Results: CD117 expression was significantly higher in the obese group than in the normal and overweight groups. CD203c and FGF2 expression were higher in the obese group than in the normal group. FGF2 expression levels were significantly correlated with those of CD117 (ρ=0.487) and CD203c (ρ=0.751).
Conclusion: MC markers CD117 and CD203c, and FGF2 were highly expressed in the synovium of obese KOA patients. Further investigations are needed to reveal the role of MCs in the relationship between obesity and osteoarthritis pathology.

Keywords: mast cells, obese, synovium, osteoarthritis

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