Mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD) become obese and develop osteoarthritis (OA)-like lesions, including chondrocyte apoptosis, in the knee joints. However, the mechanism by which HFD/obesity induces chondrocyte apoptosis is not clearly understood. In the present study, male mice were fed a low-fat diet (LFD, 10% kcal), HFD (45% kcal), or a HFD administered with 0.5 g/kg bodyweight of 4-phenyl butyric acid (PBA, a small chaperone known to ease endoplasmic reticulum [ER] stress), via the drinking water. At the end of the 18-week study, stifle (knee) joints from all animals were collected, fixed, paraffin embedded, and sectioned. Immunostaining of joints from the HFD group showed increased expression of ER stress and apoptotic markers and increased expression of nuclear protein 1 and tribbles related protein-3 compared to the LFD group. Mice on HFD also showed higher percentage of chondrocyte death, lower chondrocyte numbers per cartilage area, and thickening of subchondral bone. Administration of PBA alleviated all of the HFD-induced symptoms. Our study demonstrated that HFD induces ER stress to promote chondrocyte death and subchondral bone thickening, which could be relieved by alleviating ER stress via PBA administration, suggesting that ER stress could play an important role in obesity-linked OA and could be targeted for OA therapeutics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (R01 AR066105) to RRY.
© 2020 Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- endoplasmic reticulum stress
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural