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Osteopontin Level in Synovial Fluid Is Associated with the Severity of Joint Pain and Cartilage Degradation after Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2012
Author: Mika Yamaga et al.

by Mika Yamaga, Kunikazu Tsuji, Kazumasa Miyatake, Jun Yamada, Kahaer Abula, Young-Jin Ju, Ichiro Sekiya, Takeshi Muneta


To explore the molecular function of Osteopontin (OPN) in the pathogenesis of human OA, we compared the expression levels of OPN in synovial fluid with clinical parameters such as arthroscopic observation of cartilage damage and joint pain after joint injury.


Synovial fluid was obtained from patients who underwent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction surgery from 2009 through 2011 in our university hospital. The amounts of intact OPN (OPN Full) and it’s N-terminal fragment (OPN N-half) in synovial fluid from each patient were quantified by ELISA and compared with clinical parameters such as severity of articular cartilage damage (TMDU cartilage score) and severity of joint pain (Visual Analogue Scale and Lysholm score).


Within a month after ACL rupture, both OPN Full and N-half levels in patient synovial fluid were positively correlated with the severity of joint pain. In contrast, patients with ACL injuries greater than one month ago felt less pain if they had higher amounts of OPN N-half in synovial fluid. OPN Full levels were positively correlated with articular cartilage damage in lateral tibial plateau.


Our data suggest that OPN Full and N-half have distinct functions in articular cartilage homeostasis and in human joint pain.