315 Publication(s) found
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
4. Jan 2017

Systemic Biomarkers of Collagen and Elastin Turnover Are Associated With Clinically Relevant Outcomes in COPD.

BACKGROUND:

Extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling of the lung tissue releases protein fragments into the blood, where they may be detected as serologic surrogate markers of disease activity in COPD. Our goal was to assess the association of ECM turnover with severity and outcome of COPD.
METHODS:

In a prospective, observational, multicenter study including 506 patients with COPD (Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease grades II to IV), serum samples were analyzed at stable state, exacerbation, and 4 weeks after exacerbation. The analysis comprised a panel of five novel neoepitopes, including fragments of collagen type III (C3M) and collagen type VI (C6M), pro-forms of collagen type III (Pro-C3) and type VI (Pro-C6), and neutrophil elastase-generated fragments of elastin (EL-NE) according to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. These neoepitopes were also measured at stable state in a derivation cohort that included 100 patients with COPD.
RESULTS:

Serum levels of C3M, C6M, Pro-C3, Pro-C6, and EL-NE were associated with lung function. Patients with the lowest levels of Pro-C3 and Pro-C6 had more severe airflow limitation, hyperinflation, air trapping, and emphysema. C3M and C6M were associated with dyspnea. All ECM biomarkers, except Pro-C6, were increased at exacerbation compared with stable state but, except EL-NE, did not differ between stable state and exacerbation follow-up in the crude and adjusted analyses. In Cox regression adjusted analyses, Pro-C3 was associated with a shorter time to exacerbation (hazard ratio, 0.72; CI, 0.59-0.89; P = .002) and Pro-C6 with survival (hazard ratio, 2.09; CI, 1.18-3.71; P = .011).
CONCLUSIONS:

Serum biomarkers of ECM turnover were significantly associated with disease severity and clinically relevant outcomes in patients with COPD.

Type 2-Diabetes
4. Jan 2017

Serum endotrophin identifies optimal responders to PPARγ agonists in type 2 diabetes.

AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:

The treatment of type 2 diabetes with full peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) agonists improves insulin sensitivity, but is associated with weight gain, heart failure, peripheral oedema and bone loss. Endotrophin, the C-terminal fragment of the α3 chain of procollagen type VI (also called Pro-C6), is involved in both adipose tissue matrix remodelling and metabolic control. We established a serum assay for endotrophin to assess if this novel adipokine could identify type 2 diabetic patients who respond optimally to PPARγ agonists, improving the risk-to-benefit ratio.
METHODS:

The BALLET trial (NCT00515632) compared the glucose-lowering effects and safety of the partial PPARγ agonist balaglitazone with those of pioglitazone in individuals with type 2 diabetes on stable insulin therapy. The per protocol population (n = 297) was stratified into tertiles based on baseline endotrophin levels. Participants were followed-up after 26 weeks, after which correlational analysis was carried out between endotrophin levels and measures of glucose control. This is a secondary post hoc analysis.
RESULTS:

Endotrophin was significantly associated with therapeutic response to balaglitazone and pioglitazone. At week 26, only individuals in the upper two tertiles showed significant reductions in HbA1c and fasting serum glucose compared with baseline. The OR for a 1% and a 0.5% reduction in HbA1c for individuals in the upper two tertiles were 3.83 (95% CI 1.62, 9.04) p < 0.01, and 3.85 (95% CI 1.94, 7.61) p < 0.001, respectively. Endotrophin levels correlated with adipose tissue mass, insulin resistance and fatty liver index. Notably, PPARγ-associated adverse effects, such as moderate-to-severe lower extremity oedema, only occurred in the lower tertile.
CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:

Elevated endotrophin serum levels predict response to two insulin sensitisers and reduce the risk of associated adverse effects, thereby, identifying patients with type 2 diabetes who may profit from PPARγ agonist treatment.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
11. Jan 2017

Development of a Novel Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Targeting a Neo-Epitope Generated by Cathepsin-Mediated Turnover of Type III Collagen and Its Application in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

A high level of extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover characterizes several lung diseases with fibrotic features. Type III collagen is one of the most abundant collagens in lung parenchyma, and cathepsins play a role in lung pathology, being responsible for tissue remodeling. In this study, we explore the diagnostic features of neo-epitope fragments of type III collagen generated by cathepsins that could reflect the pathological tissue turnover in patients with different diseases. A novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) measuring cathepsins B, L, S and K -generated type III collagen fragments (C3C) was developed for assessment in serum and plasma. The assay was biologically validated in serum from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Serological levels of C3C were significantly elevated in patients with COPD compared to healthy controls (p = 0.0006). Levels of C3C in serum and heparin plasma of COPD patients had a highly significant correlation (R2 = 0.86, p<0.0001). The data suggests that the C3C fragment is elevated in patients with COPD compared to healthy controls.

Extracellular Matrix Research
1. Aug 2016

Type VIII collagen is elevated in diseases associated with angiogenesis and vascular remodeling

OBJECTIVES:

Type VIII collagen is involved in angiogenesis and remodeling of arteries. We hypothesized that type VIII collagen was upregulated in diseases associated with vascular remodeling, e.g. pulmonary fibrosis and cancer. In this paper we present the development and validation of a competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) targeting type VIII collagen in serum and plasma.

DESIGN AND METHODS:

A monoclonal antibody was raised against the C-terminal of type VIII collagen (C8-C) and a competitive ELISA was developed. The assay was evaluated in relation to epitope specificity, technical performance, and in relevant disease cohorts. The developed ELISA was applied for the assessment of type VIII collagen in serum from patients diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and various cancers.

RESULTS:

The C8-C ELISA was technically stable and applicable for measurements in serum and plasma samples. Concentrations of C8-C was increased in serum from patients diagnosed with COPD (n=68) (p<0.0001), SCC lung- (n=10) (p<0.0001), breast- (n=13) (p<0.0001), colon- (n=7) (p=0.002), melanoma- (n=7) (p=0.001), non-small cell lung- (n=12) (p<0.0001), ovary- (n=10) (p=0.0001), pancreas- (n=5) (p=0.017), prostate- (n=14) (p=0.001) and small cell lung cancer (n=8) (p=0.0002) when compared to controls (n=43). Concentrations of C8-C were not significantly increased in serum from patients diagnosed with IPF.

CONCLUSIONS:

The C8-C assay was technically robust and specific for type VIII collagen. Concentrations of C8-C were significantly elevated in serum from patients diagnosed with COPD and within 9 different cancer types, but not IPF. Further research is required to test C8-C as an efficacy marker for angiostatic treatments.

Respiratory System
1. Aug 2016

Exploration of a potent PI3 kinase/mTOR inhibitor as a novel anti-fibrotic agent in IPF

RATIONALE:

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is the most rapidly progressive and fatal of all fibrotic conditions with no curative therapies. Common pathomechanisms between IPF and cancer are increasingly recognised, including dysfunctional pan-PI3 kinase (PI3K) signalling as a driver of aberrant proliferative responses. GSK2126458 is a novel, potent, PI3K/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor which has recently completed phase I trials in the oncology setting. Our aim was to establish a scientific and dosing framework for PI3K inhibition with this agent in IPF at a clinically developable dose.

METHODS:

We explored evidence for pathway signalling in IPF lung tissue and examined the potency of GSK2126458 in fibroblast functional assays and precision-cut IPF lung tissue. We further explored the potential of IPF patient-derived bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells to serve as pharmacodynamic biosensors to monitor GSK2126458 target engagement within the lung.

RESULTS:

We provide evidence for PI3K pathway activation in fibrotic foci, the cardinal lesions in IPF. GSK2126458 inhibited PI3K signalling and functional responses in IPF-derived lung fibroblasts, inhibiting Akt phosphorylation in IPF lung tissue and BAL derived cells with comparable potency. Integration of these data with GSK2126458 pharmacokinetic data from clinical trials in cancer enabled modelling of an optimal dosing regimen for patients with IPF.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our data define PI3K as a promising therapeutic target in IPF and provide a scientific and dosing framework for progressing GSK2126458 to clinical testing in this disease setting. A proof-of-mechanism trial of this agent is currently underway.

TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER:

NCT01725139, pre-clinical.

Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
1. Aug 2016

The dual amylin- and calcitonin-receptor agonist KBP-042 increases insulin sensitivity and induces weight loss in rats with obesity

OBJECTIVE:

In this study, KBP-042, a dual amylin- and calcitonin-receptor agonist, was investigated as a treatment of obesity and insulin resistance in five different doses (0.625 µg/kg-10 µg/kg) compared with saline-treated and pair-fed controls.

METHODS:

Rats with obesity received daily s.c. administrations for 56 days, and glucose tolerance was assessed after one acute injection, 3 weeks of treatment, and again after 7 weeks of treatment. To assess the effect on insulin sensitivity, rats received 5 µg/kg KBP-042 for 21 days before hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp.

RESULTS:

KBP-042 induced a sustained weight loss of up to 20% without any significant weight reduction in the pair-fed groups. Decreases in adipose tissues and lipid deposition in the liver were observed, while plasma adiponectin was increased and plasma leptin levels were decreased. Acute administration of KBP-042 led to impaired glucose tolerance and increased plasma lactate, while this diabetogenic effect was reversed by chronic treatment. Finally, assessment of insulin sensitivity using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp showed that KBP-042 increased the glucose infusion rate.

CONCLUSIONS:

The study indicates that KBP-042 combines two highly relevant features, namely weight loss and insulin sensitivity, and is thus an excellent candidate for chronic treatment of obesity and insulin resistance.

Osteoporosis, Bone
1. Jun 2016

Zoledronate prevents lactation induced bone loss and results in additional post-lactation bone mass in mice

In rodents, lactation is associated with a considerable and very rapid bone loss, which almost completely recovers after weaning. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the bisphosphonate Zoledronate (Zln) can inhibit lactation induced bone loss, and if Zln interferes with recovery of bone mass after lactation has ceased. Seventy-six 10-weeks-old NMRI mice were divided into the following groups: Baseline, Pregnant, Lactation, Lactation+Zln, Recovery, Recovery+Zln, and Virgin Control (age-matched). The lactation period was 12days, then the pups were removed, and thereafter recovery took place for 28days. Zln, 100μg/kg, was given s.c. on the day of delivery, and again 4 and 8days later. Mechanical testing, μCT, and dynamic histomorphometry were performed. At L4, lactation resulted in a substantial loss of bone strength (-55% vs. Pregnant, p<0.01), BV/TV (-40% vs. Pregnant, p<0.01), and trabecular thickness (Tb.Th) (-29% vs. Pregnant, p<0.001). Treatment with Zln completely prevented lactation induced loss of bone strength, BV/TV, and Tb.Th at L4. Full recovery of micro-architectural and mechanical properties was found 28days after weaning in vehicle-treated mice. Interestingly, the recovery group treated with Zln during the lactation period had higher BV/TV (+45%, p<0.01) and Tb.Th (+16%, p<0.05) compared with virgin controls. Similar results were found at the proximal tibia and femur. This indicates that Zln did not interfere with the bone formation taking place after weaning. On this background, we conclude that post-lactation bone formation is not dependent on a preceding lactation induced bone loss.

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
1. May 2016

KBP-088, a novel DACRA with prolonged receptor activation, is superior to davalintide in terms of efficacy on body weight.

This study aims to elucidate the mechanism behind the potent weight loss induced by dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonists (DACRA) through comparison of the novel DACRA KBP-088 with the amylinomimetic davalintide with regard to in vitro receptor pharmacology and in vivo efficacy on food intake and body weight. KBP-088 and davalintide were tested for their ability to activate the amylin and calcitonin receptors as function of dose and time. Two doses of KBP-088 (1.67 and 5.0 μg/kg) were compared with similar davalintide doses in high-fat diet (HFD)-fed rats receiving subcutaneous dosing once daily for 62 days. Glucose tolerance was assessed after 3 and 7 wk of treatment. KBP-088 demonstrated activation of amylin and calcitonin receptors and prolonged receptor activation compared with davalintide as well as a potent reduction of acute food intake. KBP-088 transiently reduced food intake and induced and notably sustained a significant ∼16% vehicle-corrected weight loss without significant weight loss in the calorie-restricted control groups. Additionally, KBP-088 reduced white adipose tissues and adipocyte hypertrophy. Finally, KBP-088 alleviated hyperinsulinemia and improved oral glucose tolerance even with significantly lower insulin levels after 3 and 7 wk of treatment. KBP-088 is a potent amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist with prolonged receptor activation compared with davalintide. Moreover, KBP-088 induced and sustained significant weight loss and reduced overall adiposity and adipocyte hypertrophy in HFD rats. Finally, KBP-088 improved oral glucose tolerance and alleviated hyperinsulinemia, underscoring the potential of KBP-088 as an antiobesity agent with benefits on glucose control.

Alzheimer’s Disease
1. Mar 2016

Late-Life Risk Factors for All-Cause Dementia and Differential Dementia Diagnoses in Women: A Prospective Cohort Study

Since the first evidence of a decline in dementia incidence was reported in 2011, the focus on modifiable risk factors has increased. The possibility of risk factor intervention as a prevention strategy has been widely discussed; however, further evidence in relation to risk factors is still needed. The Prospective Epidemiologic Risk Factor (PERF I) study was an observational prospective study of postmenopausal Danish women who were initially examined between 1999 and 2001 (n = 5855). Follow-up data on diagnosis and survival as of December 31, 2014 was retrieved from the National Danish Patient Registry and the National Danish Causes of Death Registry. Cox proportional hazards regression model was applied to calculate adjusted hazard ratios (HR) for selected risk factors for dementia. Of 5512 eligible subjects, 592 developed dementia within the follow-up period of maximum 15 years. The independent factors associated with increased risk of all-cause dementia were depression (HR = 1.75 [95% CI 1.32-2.34]) and impaired fasting glucose levels. A dose-response relationship was observed between fasting glucose level and risk of dementia with HRs of 1.25 [1.05-1.49] and 1.45 [1.03-2.06] for impaired (5.6-6.9 mmol/L) and hyperglycemic (≥7.0 mmol/L) glucose levels, respectively. The factors associated with a decreased risk of dementia were overweight in late-life (HR = 0.75 [0. 62-0.89]) and physical activity at least once weekly (HR = 0.77 [0.61-0.96]). The identified risk factors for dementia in women in late-life are all considered modifiable. This supports the notion that prevention strategies may improve the poor future prospects for dementias in the ageing population.

Colorectal
28. Jul 2016

Excessive collagen turnover products are released during colorectal cancer progression and elevated in serum from metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

During cancer progression, the homeostasis of the extracellular matrix becomes imbalanced with an excessive collagen remodeling by matrix metalloproteinases. As a consequence, small protein fragments of degraded collagens are released into the circulation. We have investigated the potential of protein fragments of collagen type I, III and IV as novel biomarkers for colorectal cancer. Specific fragments of degraded type I, III and IV collagen (C1M, C3M, C4M) and type III collagen formation (Pro-C3) were assessed in serum from colorectal cancer patients, subjects with adenomas and matched healthy controls using well-characterized and validated ELISAs. Serum levels of the biomarkers were significantly elevated in colorectal cancer patients compared to subjects with adenomas (C1M, Pro-C3, C3M) and controls (C1M, Pro-C3). When patients were stratified according to their tumour stage, all four biomarkers were able to differentiate stage IV metastatic patients from all other stages. Combination of all markers with age and gender in a logistic regression model discriminated between metastatic and non-metastatic patients with an AUROC of 0.80. The data suggest that the levels of these collagen remodeling biomarkers may be a measure of tumour activity and invasiveness and may provide new clinical tools for monitoring of patients with advanced stage colorectal cancer.

Cardiovascular System, Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm
11. Dec 2011

Abdominal aortic calcification quantified by the Morphological Atherosclerotic Calcification Distribution (MACD) index is associated with features of the metabolic syndrome.

BACKGROUND:
Abdominal aortic calcifications (AAC) predict cardiovascular mortality. A new scoring model for AAC, the Morphological Atherosclerotic Calcification Distribution (MACD) index may contribute with additional information to the commonly used Aortic Calcification Severity (AC24) score, when predicting death from cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this study we investigated associations of MACD and AC24 with traditional metabolic-syndrome associated risk factors at baseline and after 8.3 years follow-up, to identify biological parameters that may account for the differential performance of these indices.

METHODS:
Three hundred and eight healthy women aged 48 to 76 years, were followed for 8.3 ± 0.3 years. AAC was quantified using lumbar radiographs. Baseline data included age, weight, blood pressure, blood lipids, and glucose levels. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to test for relationships.

RESULTS:
At baseline and across all patients, MACD correlated with blood glucose (r(2) = 0.1, P< 0.001) and to a lesser, but significant extent with traditional risk factors (p < 0.01) of CVD. In the longitudinal analysis of correlations between baseline biological parameters and the follow-up calcification assessment using radiographs we found LDL-cholesterol, HDL/LDL, and the ApoB/ApoA ratio significantly associated with the MACD (P< 0.01). In a subset of patients presenting with calcification at both baseline and at follow-up, all cholesterol levels were significantly associated with the MACD (P< 0.01) index. AC24 index was not correlated with blood parameters.

CONCLUSION:
Patterns of calcification identified by the MACD, but not the AC24 index, appear to contain useful biological information perhaps explaining part of the improved identification of risk of cardiovascular death of the MACD index. Correlations of MACD but not the AC24 with glucose levels at baseline suggest that hyperglycemia may contribute to unique patterns of calcification indicated by the MACD.

Bone
5. Apr 2011

Lessons learned from the development of oral calcitonin: the first tablet formulation of a protein in phase III clinical trials.

Oral delivery of proteins has been hampered by an array of difficulties. However, promising novel oral delivery systems have been developed. 5-CNAC, formulated with the peptide salmon calcitonin, is in phase III clinical trials for the treatment of osteoporosis or osteoarthritis and could become the first marketed oral peptide. This article reviews key findings and implications from studies undertaken to date with this oral formulation. Findings include these: (1) the optimal calcitonin tablet dose is 0.8 mg; (2) 0.8 mg of oral calcitonin is rapidly absorbed, reaching maximum concentration in 15 to 30 minutes, and is eliminated from plasma with a short half-life-9 to 15 minutes; (3) the 0.8-mg tablet is more highly absorbed than the marketed nasal formulation, with biomarker levels indicating significantly greater efficacy in suppression of bone resorption; (4) drug absorption is increased with dosing at least 10 minutes before a meal rather than postprandially and also with 50 mL of water; (5) the optimal timing of dosing for osteoporosis therapy is in the evening to mitigate the circadian peak in bone resorption; and (6) the oral formulations of synthetic and recombinant calcitonin have similar pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties. These key findings may aid researchers in the development of other oral formulations.

Bone
6. Jun 2010

Calcitonin impairs the anabolic effect of PTH in young rats and stimulates expression of sclerostin by osteocytes.

The therapeutic goal of increasing bone mass by co-treatment of parathyroid hormone (PTH) and an osteoclast inhibitor has been complicated by the undefined contribution of osteoclasts to the anabolic activity of PTH. To determine whether active osteoclasts are required at the time of PTH administration, we administered a low dose of the transient osteoclast inhibitor salmon calcitonin (sCT) to young rats receiving an anabolic PTH regimen. Co-administration of sCT significantly blunted the anabolic effect of PTH as measured by peripheral quantitative computer tomography (pQCT) and histomorphometry in the femur and tibia, respectively. To determine gene targets of sCT, we carried out quantitative real time PCR and microarray analysis of metaphyseal samples 1.5, 4 and 6.5h after administration of a single injection of PTH, sCT or PTH+sCT. Known targets of PTH action, IL-6, ephrinB2 and RANKL, were not modified by co-administration with sCT. Surprisingly, at all time points, we noted a significant upregulation of sclerostin mRNA by sCT treatment, as well as down-regulation of two other osteocyte gene products, MEPE and DMP1. Immunohistochemistry confirmed that sCT administration increased the percentage of osteocytes expressing sclerostin, suggesting a mechanism by which sCT reduced the anabolic effect of PTH. Neither mRNA for CT receptor (Calcr) nor labeled CT binding could be detected in sclerostin-enriched cells differentiated from primary calvarial osteoblasts. In contrast, osteocytes freshly isolated from calvariae expressed a high level of Calcr mRNA. Furthermore immunohistochemistry revealed co-localization of CT receptor (CTR) and sclerostin in some osteocytes in calvarial sections. Taken together these data indicate that co-treatment with sCT can blunt the anabolic effect of PTH and this may involve direct stimulation of sclerostin production by osteocytes. These data directly implicate calcitonin as a negative regulator of bone formation through a previously unsuspected mechanism.

Bone
18. Feb 2010

The effect of oral salmon calcitonin delivered with 5-CNAC on bone and cartilage degradation in osteoarthritic patients: a 14-day randomized study. (1)

BACKGROUND:
The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of oral salmon calcitonin (oSCT) administered over 14 days to men and women presenting with osteoarthritis (OA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The study was a phase-I, 2-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, gender-stratified study including 73 subjects aged 57-75 years. Patients had painful OA with a Kellgren and Lawrence index score of I-III. Treatment allocations were; 0.6 mg, 0.8 mg of oSCT, or placebo. Treatment was given twice daily for 14 days. The morning dose was administered between 07:00 and 08:00 at least 30 min before breakfast. The second dose was administered 30 min before evening dinner. On treatment day 1 and 14, the morning dose was followed by 5h of fasting, and blood samples and urine were collected immediately prior to dosing and according to the protocol. Study parameters were: plasma sCT levels, bone resorption by CTX-I (serum C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I), bone formation by osteocalcin (serum OC), and cartilage degradation by CTX-II (urine C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type II) (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00486369).

RESULTS:
Doses of 0.8 mg compared with 0.6 mg produced significantly higher C(max) and AUC(0-4 hrs), of calcitonin, P=0.03. This resulted in significant reductions in CTX-I and CTX-II, [P<0.0001; P=0.007]. No differences were observed between baseline and follow-up at day 14 in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters. Gender had no observable influence on results.

CONCLUSIONS:
oSCT given twice daily with a pre-dinner and morning fasting dosing resulted in reductions in markers of bone resorption and cartilage degradation.

Bone
23. Mar 2004

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) safeguard osteoblasts from apoptosis during transdifferentiation into osteocytes: MT1-MMP maintains osteocyte viability.

Osteoblasts undergo apoptosis or differentiate into either osteocytes or bone-lining cells after termination of bone matrix synthesis. In this study, we investigated the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in differentiation of osteoblasts, bone formation, transdifferentiation into osteocytes, and osteocyte apoptosis. This was accomplished by using calvarial sections from the MT1-MMP-deficient mouse and by culture of the mouse osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 and primary mouse calvarial osteoblasts. We found that a synthetic matrix metalloprotease inhibitor, GM6001, strongly inhibited bone formation in vitro of both primary osteoblasts and MC3T3 cells by approximately 75%. To further investigate at which level of osteoblast differentiation MMP inhibition was attenuating osteoblast function, we found that neither preosteoblast nor mature osteoblast activity was affected. In contrast, cell survival of osteoblasts forced to transdifferentiate into osteocytes in 3D type I collagen gels were inhibited by more than 50% when exposed to 10 microM GM6001 and to Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-2 (TIMP-2), a natural MT1-MMP inhibitor. This shows the importance of MMPs in safeguarding osteoblasts from apoptosis when transdifferentiating into osteocytes. By examination of osteoblasts and osteocytes embedded in calvarial bone in the MT1-MMP deficient mice, we found that MT1-MMP deficient mice had 10-fold higher levels of apoptotic osteocytes than wild-type controls. We have previously shown that MT1-MMP activates latent Transforming Growth Factorbeta (TGF-beta). These findings strongly suggest that MT1-MMP-activated TGF-beta maintains osteoblast survival during transdifferentiation into osteocytes, and maintains mature osteocyte viability. Thus, the interrelationship of MMPs and TGF-beta may play an important role in bone formation and maintenance.

Bone
21. Jan 2004

Measurement of tumor load and distribution in a model of cancer-induced osteolysis: a necessary precaution when testing novel anti-resorptive therapies.

The Arguello model of cancer metastasis to bone has been used extensively to study breast cancer-induced osteolytic disease. The effects of therapy on skeletal disease and on tumour burden in soft organs are traditionally measured using radiography and/or time-consuming histomorphometry, respectively. The purpose of this study was to develop a sensitive and efficient method for evaluating tumour burden in vivo using MDA-231 cells transduced with the E. coli lacZ gene (MDA-231BAG). Osteolysis was measured by radiography and tumour burden was measured histomorphometrically or biochemically. In untreated mice, measurements of tumour burden in bone extracts using human cytokeratin-associated tissue polypeptide antigen (TPA) ELISA or E. coli beta-galactosidase (beta-gal) activity immunoassay reflected the extent of osteolytic disease as measured by radiography; however, tumour load could be detected before onset of osteolysis. When monitoring the effect of therapy (0.2 mg/kg ibandronate/day), radiography alone proved to be insufficient. Mice treated with the bisphosphonate ibandronate from time of inoculation with cancer cells had no radiologically visible signs of osteolysis but significant tumour load was measured in the bone extracts using these assays. Furthermore, beta-gal activity could be used as a measurement of tumour load in soft organs, and unlike other human breast cancer markers expressed by the MDA-231 cells in vitro, beta-gal activity was detected in the serum of mice with progressive disease. In conclusion, we describe an efficient model of breast cancer-induced osteolysis to quantify the effect of therapy on disease load and distribution, which could be beneficial in evaluating novel therapies for the treatment of the disease.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
18. Dec 2009

Suppression of MMP activity in bovine cartilage explants cultures has little if any effect on the release of aggrecanase-derived aggrecan fragments.

Progressive loss of articular cartilage is a central hallmark in many joint disease, however, the relative importance of individual proteolytic pathways leading to cartilage erosion is at present unknown. We therefore investigated the time-dependant release ex vivo of MMP- and aggrecanase-derived fragments of aggrecan and type II collagen into the supernatant of bovine cartilage explants cultures using neo-epitope specific immunoassays, and to associate the release of these fragments with the activity of proteolytic enzymes using inhibitors.

FINDINGS:
Bovine cartilage explants were cultured in the presence or absence of the catabolic cytokines oncostatin M (OSM) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha). In parallel, explants were co-cultured with protease inhibitors such as GM6001, TIMP1, TIMP2 and TIMP3. Fragments released into the supernatant were determined using a range of neo-epitope specific immunoassays; (1) sandwich (342)FFGVG-G2 ELISA, (2) competition NITEGE(373)ELISA (3) sandwich G1-NITEGE(373 )ELISA (4) competition (374)ARGSV ELISA, and (5) sandwich (374)ARGSV-G2 ELISA all detecting aggrecan fragments, and (6) sandwich CTX-II ELISA, detecting C-telopeptides of type II collagen. We found that (1) aggrecanase-derived aggrecan fragments are released in the early (day 2-7) and mid phase (day 9-14) into the supernatant from bovine explants cultures stimulated with catabolic cytokines, (2) the release of NITEGE(373 )neo-epitopes are delayed compared to the corresponding (374)ARGSV fragments, (3) the MMP inhibitor GM6001 did not reduce the release of aggrecanase-derived fragment, but induced a further delay in the release of these fragments, and finally (4) the MMP-derived aggrecan and type II collagen fragments were released in the late phase (day 16-21) only.

CONCLUSION:
Our data support the model, that aggrecanases and MMPs act independently in the processing of the aggrecan molecules, and furthermore that suppression of MMP-activity had little if any effect on the quantity of aggrecanase-derived fragments released from explants cultures.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
10. Jul 2010

A novel assay for extracellular matrix remodeling associated with liver fibrosis: An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for a MMP-9 proteolytically revealed neo-epitope of type III collagen.

OBJECTIVES:
Accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) components and increased matrix-metalloprotease (MMPs) activity are hallmarks of fibrosis. We developed an ELISA for quantification of MMP-9 derived collagen type III (CO3) degradation.

DESIGN AND METHODS:
A monoclonal antibody targeting a specific MMP-9 cleaved fragment of CO3 was used for development of a competitive ELISA. The assay was investigated in serum and tissues from bile duct ligated rats (BDL).

RESULTS:
The ELISA showed no cross-reaction with either intact CO3, or other collagens. The intra- and inter-assay CV were below 10%. Liver fibrosis was demonstrated in BDL animals by semi quantitative scoring (P<0.0001). Serum levels of CO3-610 increased 2.5 fold in BDL animals (P<0.001). The CO3-610 levels were 5 fold higher in ex vivo cultures of fibrotic livers compared to controls (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION:
We have developed a novel ELISA for measuring a specific fragment CO3 generated by MMP-9 important in pathogenesis of liver fibrosis.

Extracellular Matrix Research, Biomarker position
10. Jul 2010

Novel combinations of Post-Translational Modification (PTM) neo-epitopes provide tissue-specific biochemical markers--are they the cause or the consequence of the disease?

The aim of this review is to discuss the potential usefulness of novel advances in the class of biochemical markers, neo-epitopes. Neo-epitopes are post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins formed by processes such as protease cleavage, citrullination, nitrosylation, glycosylation and isomerization. Each modification results from a specific local physiological or pathobiologial process. Identification of each modification, and the affected tissue-specific protein, may produce a unique disease-specific biochemical marker. One example of neo-epitopes detectable in protein fragments are type II collagen degradation products. These 2nd generation biochemical markers have proven useful for research on joint damage. Such neo-epitopes are being utilized in translational medicine to estimate safety and efficacy in both preclinical models and clinical settings. More advanced, 3rd generation biochemical markers, which may more accurately identify both the affected tissue and the disease stage, might be developed through research into multiple PTMs occurring during specific disease pathogenesis. The end-product of these investigations is one single measurement for each disease. To date, advanced biochemical markers have been identified in bone, cardiovascular, fibrosis and cartilage diseases and continue research in Alzheimer's and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. These advanced biochemical marker assays relying on analytes that are modified by multiple PTMs may become optimal tools that meet the BIPED (Burden of disease, Investigatory, Prognostic, Efficacy of intervention and Diagnosis) biochemical marker "usefulness" criteria. For some of these markers it may be interesting to also investigate whether the PTMs are the cause or consequence of a certain disease.

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
21. Apr 2010

Human macrophage foam cells degrade atherosclerotic plaques through cathepsin K mediated processes.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Proteolytic degradation of Type I Collagen by proteases may play an important role in remodeling of atherosclerotic plaques, contributing to increased risk of plaque rupture.The aim of the current study was to investigate whether human macrophage foam cells degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) of atherosclerotic plaques by cathepsin K mediated processes.

METHODS:
We 1) cultured human macrophages on ECM and measured cathepsin K generated fragments of type I collagen (C-terminal fragments of Type I collagen (CTX-I) 2) investigated the presence of CTX-I in human coronary arteries and 3) finally investigated the clinical potential by measuring circulating CTX-I in women with and without radiographic evidence of aortic calcified atherosclerosis.

RESULTS:
Immune-histochemistry of early and advanced lesions of coronary arteries demonstrated co-localization of Cathepsin-K and CTX-I in areas of intimal hyperplasia and in shoulder regions of advanced plaques. Treatment of human monocytes with M-CSF or M-CSF+LDL generated macrophages and foam cells producing CTX-I when cultured on type I collagen enriched matrix. Circulating levels of CTX-I were not significantly different in women with aortic calcifications compared to those without.

CONCLUSIONS:
Human macrophage foam cells degrade the atherosclerotic plaques though cathepsin K mediated processes, resulting in increase in levels of CTX-I. Serum CTX-I was not elevated in women with aortic calcification, likely due to the contribution of CTX-I from osteoclastic bone resorption which involves Cathepsin-K. The human macrophage model system may be used to identify important pathway leading to excessive proteolytic plaque remodeling and plaque rupture.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
17. Jun 2010

Biochemical markers identify influences on bone and cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis--the effect of sex, Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score, body mass index (BMI), oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) treatment and diurnal variation.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Osteoarthritis (OA) involves changes in both bone and cartilage. These processes might be associated under some circumstances. This study investigated correlations between bone and cartilage degradation in patients with OA as a function of sex, Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score, Body Mass Index (BMI), oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) treatment and diurnal variation.

METHODS:
This study was a 2-week, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized study including 37 postmenopausal women and 36 men, aged 57-75 years, with painful knee OA, and a KL-score of I - III. Subjects were allocated to one of three treatment arms: 0.6 mg or 0.8 mg oral sCT, or placebo given twice-daily for 14 days. Correlations between gender, KL score, or BMI and the bone resorption marker, serum C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX-I), or the cartilage degradation marker, urine C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type II (CTX-II) were investigated.

RESULTS:
At baseline, biomarkers indicated women with OA experienced higher bone and cartilage degradation than men. CTX-I levels were significantly higher, and CTX-II levels only marginally higher, in women than in men (p = 0.04 and p = 0.06, respectively). Increasing KL score was not correlated with bone resorption, but was significantly associated with the cartilage degradation CTX-II marker in both men and women (p = 0.007). BMI was significantly and negatively correlated to the bone resorption marker CTX-I, r = -0.40 (p = 0.002), but showed only a borderline positive correlation to CTX-II, r = 0.25 (p = 0.12). Before morning treatments on days 1 and 14, no correlation was seen between CTX-I and CTX-II in either the sCT or placebo group. However, oral sCT and food intake induced a clear correlation between these bone and cartilage degradation markers. Four hours after the first sCT dose on treatment days 1 and 14, a significant correlation (r = 0.71, p < 0.001) between changes in both CTX-I and CTX-II was seen. In the placebo group a weakly significant correlation between changes in both markers was found on day 1 (r = 0.49, p = 0.02), but not on day 14.

CONCLUSION:
Bone resorption was higher in females than males, while cartilage degradation was correlated with increasing KL-score and only weakly associated with BMI. Bone and cartilage degradation were not correlated in untreated individuals, but dosing with oral sCT with or without food, and a mid-day meal, decreased bone and cartilage degradation and induced a correlation between both markers. Changes in bone and cartilage markers may aid in the identification of potential new treatment opportunities for OA.

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
8. Oct 2010

Macrophage-mediated proteolytic remodeling of the extracellular matrix in atherosclerosis results in neoepitopes: a potential new class of biochemical markers.

Worldwide, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death. Most CVD-related deaths are caused by years of preceding atherogenesis and the extensive development of atherosclerotic plaques, some of which may rupture to cause myocardial infarction. Macrophages are known to have a role in almost all stages of atherosclerosis, by both initiating atherosclerotic plaques and degrading them through the secretion of proteolytic enzymes leading to rupture. This review summarizes the literature on the role of macrophages and their proteolytic activity on proteins in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of the atherosclerotic plaque with a view to suggest a novel approach for identification of vulnerable plaques and turnover by the use of a new type of biomarker. The PubMed database was searched using the terms macrophages, foam cells, atherosclerosis, CVD, ECM remodeling, biomarker, neoepitope, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP), and protease. Atherosclerotic plaques are primarily composed of the protein type I and III collagen, and smaller quantities of elastin and proteoglycans. Macrophages secrete an array of proteases, including MMPs, cathepsins, and aggrecanases, with the ability to degrade most of the constituents of the ECM of the atherosclerotic plaque. At present it is not clear which proteases play pivotal roles at distinct stages of pathogenesis, rather that the combined proteolytic potential with some proteases at early stages and other at later stages may result in plaque rupture. This macrophage-mediated proteolysis and remodeling of the ECM play important roles in many stages of atherosclerosis. The degradation fragments of these ECM events are specific neoepitopes, which are released into the circulation. The identification of these pathologically relevant neoepitopes leads to novel biomarkers able to identify the formation and degradation of plaques providing different biological information than traditionally used biomarkers.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
30. Oct 2010

Matrix metalloproteinase-9-mediated type III collagen degradation as a novel serological biochemical marker for liver fibrogenesis.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
During fibrogenesis in the liver, in which excessive remodelling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) occurs, both the quantity of type III collagen (CO3) and levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), including MMP-9, increase significantly. MMPs play major roles in ECM remodelling, via their activity in the proteolytic degradation of extracellular macromolecules such as collagens, resulting in the generation of specific cleavage fragments. These neo-epitopes may be used as markers of fibrosis.

AIMS:
The current study investigated whether a novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assay specifically measuring an MMP-9-cleaved sequence of type III collagen located at position 610 (CO3-610C) may be used as a marker of liver fibrosis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Bile duct ligation (BDL) was performed in 20 rats, with sham operations performed on another 20 rats. Serum levels of the neo-epitope CO3-610C (MMP-mediated type III collagen degradation) were determined with an ELISA at 14 and 28 days post-surgery. Liver fibrosis was evaluated by quantitative digital image analysis of Sirius red-stained formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded sections. Western blot and densitometry were performed to confirm the CO3-610C ELISA data.

RESULTS:
CO3-610C levels in serum increased significantly in BDL rats compared with those undergoing sham operations (% increase: 14 days=153%, P<0.0001; 28 days=134%, P=0.0014). This increase was confirmed by Western blot and densitometry of the identified bands. The CO3-610C levels correlated to liver fibrosis (R(2) =0.23 and P=0.01), as evaluated by quantitative digital histology.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:
The data suggest that MMP-9-mediated CO3 turnover is a central event in the pathogenesis of fibrosis, and that the neo-epitope generated may be a novel biochemical marker.

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
10. Nov 2010

Distribution, size, shape, growth potential and extent of abdominal aortic calcified deposits predict mortality in postmenopausal women.

Aortic calcification is a major risk factor for death from cardiovascular disease. We investigated the relationship between mortality and the composite markers of number, size, morphology and distribution of calcified plaques in the lumbar aorta.

METHODS:
308 postmenopausal women aged 48-76 were followed for 8.3 ± 0.3 years, with deaths related to cardiovascular disease, cancer, or other causes being recorded. From lumbar X-rays at baseline the number (NCD), size, morphology and distribution of aortic calcification lesions were scored and combined into one Morphological Atherosclerotic Calcification Distribution (MACD) index. The hazard ratio for mortality was calculated for the MACD and for three other commonly used predictors: the EU SCORE card, the Framingham Coronary Heart Disease Risk Score (Framingham score), and the gold standard Aortic Calcification Severity score (AC24) developed from the Framingham Heart Study cohorts.

RESULTS:
All four scoring systems showed increasing age, smoking, and raised triglyceride levels were the main predictors of mortality after adjustment for all other metabolic and physical parameters. The SCORE card and the Framingham score resulted in a mortality hazard ratio increase per standard deviation (HR/SD) of 1.8 (1.51-2.13) and 2.6 (1.87-3.71), respectively. Of the morphological x-ray based measures, NCD revealed a HR/SD >2 adjusted for SCORE/Framingham. The MACD index scoring the distribution, size, morphology and number of lesions revealed the best predictive power for identification of patients at risk of mortality, with a hazard ratio of 15.6 (p < 0.001) for the 10% at greatest risk of death.

CONCLUSIONS:
This study shows that it is not just the extent of aortic calcification that predicts risk of mortality, but also the distribution, shape and size of calcified lesions. The MACD index may provide a more sensitive predictor of mortality from aortic calcification than the commonly used AC24 and SCORE/Framingham point card systems.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
9. Jun 2011

MMP mediated degradation of type VI collagen is highly associated with liver fibrosis--identification and validation of a novel biochemical marker assay.

Abstract
BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
During fibrogenesis, in which excessive remodeling of the extracellular matrix occurs, both the quantity of type VI collagen and levels of matrix metalloproteinases, including MMP-2 and MMP-9, increase significantly. Proteolytic degradation of type VI collagen into small fragments, so-called neo-epitopes, may be specific biochemical marker of liver fibrosis. The aim of this study was to develop an ELISA detecting a fragment of type VI collagen generated by MMP-2 and MMP-9, and evaluate this assay in two preclinical models of liver fibrosis.

METHODS:
Mass spectrometric analysis of cleaved type VI collagen revealed a large number of protease-generated neo-epitopes. A fragment unique to type VI collagen generated by MMP-2 and MMP-9 was selected for ELISA development. The CO6-MMP assay was evaluated in two rat models of liver fibrosis: bile duct ligation (BDL) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-treated rats.

RESULTS:
Intra- and inter-assay variation was 4.1% and 10.1% respectively. CO6-MMP levels were significantly elevated in CCl(4)-treated rats compared to vehicle-treated rats at weeks 12 (mean 30.9 ng/mL vs. 12.8 ng/mL, p = 0.002); week 16 (mean 34.0 ng/mL vs. 13.7 ng/mL, p = 0.0018); and week 20 (mean 35.3 ng/mL vs. 13.3 ng/mL, p = 0.0033) with a tight correlation between hepatic collagen content and serum levels of CO6-MMP (R(2) = 0.58, p<0.0001) in CCl(4)- treated rats. In BDL rats, serum levels of CO6-MMP were significantly elevated compared to the levels in sham-operated animals both at 2 weeks (mean 29.5 ng/mL vs. 14.2 ng/mL, p = 0.0001) and 4 weeks (mean 33.0 ng/mLvs. 11.8 ng/mL, p = 0.0003).

CONCLUSIONS:
This novel ELISA is the first assay enabling assessment of MMP degraded type VI collagen, allowing quantification of type VI collagen degradation, which would be relevant for different pathologies. The marker was highly associated with liver fibrosis in two liver fibrosis animal models, suggesting type VI turnover to be a central player in fibrogenesis.

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
11. Jun 2011

Levels of Circulating MMCN-151, a Degradation Product of Mimecan, Reflect Pathological Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice

Abstract
AIM:
Arterial extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is one of the major hallmarks of atherosclerosis. Mimecan, also known as osteoglycin has been implicated in the integrity of the ECM. This study assessed the validity of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed to measure a specific MMP12-derived fragment of mimecan, MMCN-151, in apolipoprotein-E knockout (ApoE-KO) mice.

METHODS AND RESULTS:
A mouse monoclonal antibody raised against MMCN-151 was used to develop a competitive ELISA. The assay was validated using samples from 20 ApoE-KO and 20 wild type [C57 BL/6] male mice fed a normal or high-fat diet (HFD) for up to 20 weeks. The technical reliability of the assay was established with intra-assay variability <2% and inter-assay variability <10%. The lowest limit of quantification of MMCN-151 was 0.5 ng/ml. ApoE-KO mice fed a HFD for 20 weeks had four-fold increased circulating levels of MMCN-151 compared to baseline, whereas MMCN-151 levels in control mice on HFD increased two-fold compared with baseline. After 10 weeks of a HFD, a significant difference in MMCN-151 levels was observed between ApoE-KO and control mice (P = 0.005) and became more significant at 20 weeks (P = 0.002).

CONCLUSIONS:
The newly developed assay is a reliable detector of MMCN-151 levels which ultimately may be useful indicators of arterial remodeling in patients affected by atherosclerotic disease.

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
11. Jul 2011

Development and validation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the quantification of a specific MMP-9 mediated degradation fragment of type III collagen--A novel biomarker of atherosclerotic plaque remodeling.

Degradation of collagen in the arterial wall by matrix metalloproteinases is the hallmark of atherosclerosis. We have developed an ELISA for the quantification of type III collagen degradation mediated by MMP-9 in urine.

DESIGN AND METHODS:
A monoclonal antibody targeting a specific MMP-9 generated fragment of collagen III was used in a competitive ELISA. The assay was validated in urine and arterial tissue of Apolipoprotein-E knockout (ApoE-KO) mice.

RESULTS:
The lower limit of detection was 0.5ng/mL, intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were below 10%. By the end of 20weeks of the study, urine levels of the novel CO3-610 biomarker in ApoE-KO mice increased by two-fold (p<0.0001) and were three-fold higher than in control mice. Western blots confirmed high expression of CO3-610 in arterial extracts of ApoE-KO mice.

CONCLUSION:
We have developed a novel competitive ELISA, capable of measuring a urine biomarker indicative of pathological extracellular matrix remodeling in a mouse model of atherosclerosis.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
16. Aug 2011

Immunological detection of the type V collagen propeptide fragment, PVCP-1230, in connective tissue remodeling associated with liver fibrosis.

AIM:
Liver fibrosis involves excessive remodeling and deposition of fibrillar extracellular matrix (ECM) components, which leads to malfunction of the organ, causing significant morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to assess whether levels of a type V collagen fragment, the propeptide CO5-1230, indicate the amount of collagen deposited during liver fibrosis.

METHODS:
A specific competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was developed to measure CO5-1230 levels. The sequence TAALGDIMGH located at the start of the C-terminal propeptide between amino acid position 1230' and 1239' (CO5-1230) of the α2 chain was selected as the immunogen. Monoclonal antibodies were raised against this fragment. An assay developed using the biotin-streptavidin system was evaluated in two rat models of liver fibrosis: bile duct ligation (BDL) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-treated rats, for up to 20 weeks.

RESULTS:
The ELISA was capable of measuring CO5-1230 in serum specifically, with an intra-assay variation of 3.46% and inter-assay variation of 5.09%. Mean CO5-1230 levels were significantly elevated in CCl(4) rats compared with controls [8 weeks: 57.4 ng/mL, controls 45.5 ng/mL (P = 0.0020); 12 weeks: 81.3 ng/mL, controls 50.2 ng/mL (P = 0.0020); 16 weeks: 85.1 ng/mL, controls 51 ng/mL (P = 0055); 20 weeks: 92 ng/mL, controls 47.8 ng/mL (P = 0.0033)]. CO5-1230 levels correlated with the total amount of collagen in sections from the injured livers, quantified from Sirius red stains (Spearman, R(2) = 0.5580). In BDL rats, serum levels of CO5-1230 were also elevated compared with controls [2 weeks: 160.1 ng/mL, controls 78.9 ng/mL (P = 0.0007); 4 weeks: 111.3 ng/mL, controls 62.2 ng/mL, (P = 0.0068)] and showed a linear correlation to the total collagen content (Spearman, R(2) = 0.3305).

CONCLUSIONS:
Increased serum levels of CO5-1230 were associated with the extent of collagen deposition in two different models of fibrotic processes in the liver. The data indicate that formation of type V collagen may be of value as a disease-specific diagnostic biomarker that reflects the total burden of disease. The amino acid sequence selected is located in the first 10 amino acids of the C-terminal propeptide section, which is a formation-specific region.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis
9. Aug 2011

Circulating CO3-610, a degradation product of collagen III, closely reflects liver collagen and portal pressure in rats with fibrosis.

BACKGROUND:
Hepatic fibrosis is characterized by intense tissue remodeling, mainly driven by matrix metalloproteinases. We previously identified CO3-610, a type III collagen neoepitope generated by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, and tested its performance as a fibrosis marker in rats with bile-duct ligation. In this study, we assessed whether CO3-610 could be used as a surrogate biomarker of liver fibrosis and portal hypertension in carbon tetrachloride-induced experimental fibrosis.

RESULTS:
For this study, 68 Wistar rats were used. Serum CO3-610 was measured by ELISA. Liver fibrosis was quantified by Sirius red staining. Serum hyaluronic acid (HA) was measured with a binding-protein assay. Gene expression of collagens I and III, Mmp2 and Mmp9, and tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinase 1 (Timp1) and 2(Timp2) was quantified by PCR. Hemodynamic measurements were taken in a subgroup of animals. A close direct relationship was found between serum CO3-610 and hepatic collagen content (r = 0.78; P < 0.001), superior to that found for serum HA (r = 0.49; P < 0.05). CO3-610 levels in rats with severe fibrosis (43.5 ± 3.3 ng/mL, P < 0.001) and cirrhosis (60.6 ± 4.3 ng/mL, P < 0.001) were significantly higher than those in control animals (26.6 ± 1.3 ng/mL). Importantly, a highly significant relationship was found between serum CO3-610 and portal hypertension (r = 0.84; P < 0.001). Liver Mmp9 expression increased significantly in fibrotic animals but decreased to control levels in cirrhotic ones.

CONCLUSIONS:
Circulating CO3-610 behaves as a reliable indicator of hepatic remodeling and portal hypertension in experimental fibrosis. This peptide could ultimately be a useful marker for the management of liver disease in patients.

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
8. Apr 2011

Biochemical markers of ongoing joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis--current and future applications, limitations and opportunities.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic systemic autoimmune disease associated with potentially debilitating joint inflammation, as well as altered skeletal bone metabolism and co-morbid conditions. Early diagnosis and aggressive treatment to control disease activity offers the highest likelihood of preserving function and preventing disability. Joint inflammation is characterized by synovitis, osteitis, and/or peri-articular osteopenia, often accompanied by development of subchondral bone erosions, as well as progressive joint space narrowing. Biochemical markers of joint cartilage and bone degradation may enable timely detection and assessment of ongoing joint damage, and their use in facilitating treatment strategies is under investigation. Early detection of joint damage may be assisted by the characterization of biochemical markers that identify patients whose joint damage is progressing rapidly and who are thus most in need of aggressive treatment, and that, alone or in combination, identify those individuals who are likely to respond best to a potential treatment, both in terms of limiting joint damage and relieving symptoms. The aims of this review are to describe currently available biochemical markers of joint metabolism in relation to the pathobiology of joint damage and systemic bone loss in RA; to assess the limitations of, and need for additional, novel biochemical markers in RA and other rheumatic diseases, and the strategies used for assay development; and to examine the feasibility of advancement of personalized health care using biochemical markers to select therapeutic agents to which a patient is most likely to respond.

Oncology, Breast
3. Aug 2011

A novel and automatic mammographic texture resemblance marker is an independent risk factor for breast cancer.

OBJECTIVE:
We investigated whether breast cancer is predicted by a breast cancer risk mammographic texture resemblance (MTR) marker.

METHODS:
A previously published case-control study included 495 women of which 245 were diagnosed with breast cancer. In baseline mammograms, 2-4 years prior to diagnosis, the following mammographic parameters were analysed for relation to breast cancer risk: (C) categorical parenchymal pattern scores; (R) radiologist's percentage density, (P) computer-based percentage density; (H) computer-based breast cancer risk MTR marker; (E) computer-based hormone replacement treatment MTR marker; and (A) an aggregate of P and H.

RESULTS:
Density scores, C, R, and P correlated (tau=0.3-0.6); no other pair of scores showed large (tau>0.2) correlation. For the parameters, the odds ratios of future incidence of breast cancer comparing highest to lowest categories (146 and 106 subject respectively) were C: 2.4(1.4-4.2), R: 2.4(1.4-4.1), P: 2.5(1.5-4.2), E: non-significant, H: 4.2(2.4-7.2), and A: 5.6(3.2-9.8). The AUC analysis showed a similarly increasing pattern (C: 0.58±0.02, R: 0.57±0.03, P: 0.60±0.03, H: 0.63±0.02, A: 0.66±0.02). The AUC of the aggregate marker (A) surpasses others significantly except H. HRT-MTR (E) did not significantly identify future cancers or correlate with any other marker.

CONCLUSIONS:
Breast cancer risk MTR marker was independent of density scores and more predictive of risk. The hormone replacement treatment MTR marker did not identify patients at risk.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
13. Oct 2011

Identification of the calcitonin receptor in osteoarthritic chondrocytes

BACKGROUND:
Preclinical and clinical studies have shown that salmon calcitonin has cartilage protective effects in joint degenerative diseases, such as osteoarthritis (OA). However, the presence of the calcitonin receptor (CTR) in articular cartilage chondrocytes is yet to be identified. In this study, we sought to further investigate the expression of the CTR in naïve human OA articular chondrocytes to gain further confirmation of the existents of the CTR in articular cartilage.

METHODS:
Total RNA was purified from primary chondrocytes from articular cartilage biopsies from four OA patients undergoing total knee replacement. High quality cDNA was produced using a dedicated reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) protocol. From this a nested PCR assay amplifying the full coding region of the CTR mRNA was completed. Western blotting and immunohistochemistry were used to characterize CTR protein on protein level in chondrocytes.

RESULTS:
The full coding transcript of the CTR isoform 2 was identified in all four individuals. DNA sequencing revealed a number of allelic variants of the gene including two potentially novel polymorphisms: a frame shift mutation, +473del, producing a shorter form of the receptor protein, and a single nucleotide polymorphism in the 3' non coding region of the transcript, +1443 C>T. A 53 kDa protein band, consistent with non-glycosylated CTR isoform 2, was detected in chondrocytes with a similar size to that expressed in osteoclasts. Moreover the CTR was identified in the plasma membrane and the chondrocyte lacuna of both primary chondrocytes and OA cartilage section.

CONCLUSIONS:
Human OA articular cartilage chondrocytes do indeed express the CTR, which makes the articular a pharmacological target of salmon calcitonin. In addition, the results support previous findings suggesting that calcitonin has a direct anabolic effect on articular cartilage

Hematology
22. Oct 2011

Assessment of proteolytic degradation of the basement membrane: a fragment of type IV collagen as a biochemical marker for liver fibrosis.

BACKGROUND:
Collagen deposition and an altered matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression profile are hallmarks of fibrosis. Type IV collagen is the most abundant structural basement membrane component of tissue, which increases 14-fold during fibrogenesis in the liver. Proteolytic degradation of collagens by proteases produces small fragments, so-called neoepitopes, which are released systemically. Technologies investigating MMP-generated fragments of collagens may provide more useful information than traditional serological assays that crudely measure total protein. In the present study, we developed an ELISA for the quantification of a neoepitope generated by MMP degradation of type IV collagen and evaluated the association of this neoepitope with liver fibrosis in two animal models.

METHODS:
Type IV collagen was degraded in vitro by a variety of proteases. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed more than 200 different degradation fragments. A specific peptide sequence, 1438'GTPSVDHGFL'1447 (CO4-MMP), in the α1 chain of type IV collagen generated by MMP-9 was selected for ELISA development. ELISA was used to determine serum levels of the CO4-MMP neoepitope in two rat models of liver fibrosis: inhalation of carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and bile duct ligation (BDL). The levels were correlated to histological findings using Sirius red staining.

RESULTS:
A technically robust assay was produced that is specific to the type IV degradation fragment, GTPSVDHGFL. CO4-MMP serum levels increased significantly in all BDL groups compared to baseline, with a maximum increase of 248% seen two weeks after BDL. There were no changes in CO4-MMP levels in sham-operated rats. In the CCl4 model, levels of CO4-MMP were significantly elevated at weeks 12, 16 and 20 compared to baseline levels, with a maximum increase of 88% after 20 weeks. CO4-MMP levels correlated to Sirius red staining results.

CONCLUSION:
This ELISA is the first assay developed for assessment of proteolytic degraded type IV collagen, which, by enabling quantification of basement membrane degradation, could be relevant in investigating various fibrogenic pathologies. The CO4-MMP degradation fragment was highly associated with liver fibrosis in the two animal models studied.

Rheumatology, Rheumatoid Arthritis
4. Oct 2012

IL-6 receptor inhibition positively modulates bone balance in rheumatoid arthritis patients with an inadequate response to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy: biochemical marker analysis of bone metabolism in the tocilizumab RADIATE study (NCT00106522)

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate changes in biochemical markers of bone metabolism in response to tocilizumab in patients with anti-tumor necrosis factor-refractory rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

METHODS:
RADIATE was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group phase 3 trial. C-reactive protein, osteocalcin (OC), C-terminal telopeptides of type-I collagen (C-terminal telopeptides of type-1 collagen (CTX-I) and type-I collagen degradation product), and matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) serum levels were analyzed from 299 RA patients. Patients were randomly assigned to either tocilizumab (4 or 8 mg/kg) or placebo intravenously every 4 weeks, along with concomitant stable methotrexate (10 to 25 mg weekly) in all treatment arms. The change in biochemical markers CTX-I and OC in combination was evaluated as a measure of net bone balance, a reflection of the change in equilibrium between resorption and formation.

RESULTS:
Both tocilizumab doses decreased C-reactive protein levels and significantly inhibited cathepsin K-mediated bone resorption in RADIATE subjects, as measured by a decrease in CTX-I. There was a significant overall improvement in net bone balance at week 16 as measured by a decrease in the CTX-I:OC ratio (-25%, P < 0.01). Furthermore, a significant reduction in MMP-3 (43%, P < 0.001) and type-I collagen degradation product levels (18%, P < 0.001) were observed following treatment, both consistent with decreased MMP-mediated type-I collagen catabolism in joint tissue.

CONCLUSIONS:
In anti-tumor necrosis factor-refractory patients, tocilizumab significantly reduced the levels of biochemical markers of cathepsin K-mediated bone resorption and MMP-mediated tissue degradation and remodeling. These observations suggest that tocilizumab has a positive effect on bone balance, which could in part explain the retardation of progressive structural damage observed with tocilizumab. Clinical trial registry number: NCT00106522.

Bone, Osteoporosis
13. Mar 2012

Disruption of the V-ATPase functionality as a way to uncouple bone formation and resorption - a novel target for treatment of osteoporosis

The unique ability of the osteoclasts to resorb the calcified bone matrix is dependent on secretion of hydrochloric acid. This process is mediated by a vacuolar H+ ATPase (V-ATPase) and a chloride-proton antiporter. The structural subunit of the V-ATPase, a3, is highly specific for osteoclasts, and mutations in a3 lead to infantile malignant osteopetrosis, a phenomenon characterized by increased bone mass, an increased number of non-resorbing osteoclasts, and a complete lack of bone resorption. Importantly, these individuals have normal or even increased osteoblast numbers and bone formation suggesting that the osteoclasts, but not their resorptive capability, relay an anabolic signal, and, hence, that bone formation can be uncoupled from bone resorption when the a3 subunit is eliminated by mutations, or possibly by pharmacological intervention. The pharmacological profile of the a3 subunit as a highly specific target with a mode of action profile augmenting uncoupling and sustained bone formation, as derived from osteopetrotic patients and mice, highlights the relevance of the V-ATPase in future osteoporosis drug development. However, as illustrated by numerous attempts at developing specific inhibitors of the osteoclastic V-ATPase it is a very difficult target to work with, and an inhibitor possessing the desired profile remains elusive, although highly promising approaches recently have been launched.

Bone, Osteoporosis
11. Dec 2011

Glucocorticoids exert context-dependent effects on cells of the joint in vitro

INTRODUCTION:
Glucocorticoids are known to attenuate bone formation in vivo leading to decreased bone volume and increased risk of fractures, whereas effects on the joint tissue are less characterized. However, glucocorticoids appear to have a reducing effect on inflammation and pain in osteoarthritis. This study aimed at characterizing the effect of glucocorticoids on chondrocytes, osteoclasts, and osteoblasts.

EXPERIMENTAL:
We used four model systems to investigate how glucocorticoids affect the cells of the joint; two intact tissues (femoral head- and cartilage-explants), and two separate cell cultures of osteoblasts (2T3-pre-osteoblasts) and osteoclasts (CD14(+)-monocytes). The model systems were cultured in the presence of two glucocorticoids; prednisolone or dexamethasone. To induce anabolic and catabolic conditions, cultures were activated by insulin-like growth factor I/bone morphogenetic protein 2 and oncostatin M/tumor necrosis factor-α, respectively. Histology and markers of bone- and cartilage-turnover were used to evaluate effects of glucocorticoid treatment.

RESULTS:
Prednisolone treatment decreased collagen type-II degradation in immature cartilage, whereas glucocorticoids did not affect collagen type-II in mature cartilage. Glucocorticoids had an anti-catabolic effect on catabolic-activated cartilage from a bovine stifle joint and murine femoral heads. Glucocorticoids decreased viability of all bone cells, leading to a reduction in osteoclastogenesis and bone resorption; however, bone morphogenetic protein 2-stimulated osteoblasts increased bone formation, as opposed to non-stimulated osteoblasts.

CONCLUSIONS:
Using highly robust in vitro models of bone and cartilage turnover, we suggest that effects of glucocorticoids highly depend on the activation and differential stage of the cell targeted in the joint. Present data indicated that glucocorticoid treatment may be beneficial for articular cartilage, although detrimental effects on bone should be taken into account.

Bone
22. Jul 2011

Vertebral fracture risk (VFR) score for fracture prediction in postmenopausal women

SUMMARY:
Early prognosis of osteoporosis risk is not only important to individual patients but is also a key factor when screening for osteoporosis drug trial populations. We present an osteoporosis fracture risk score based on vertebral heights. The score separated individuals who sustained fractures (by follow-up after 6.3 years) from healthy controls at baseline
.
INTRODUCTION:
This case-control study was designed to assess the ability of three novel fracture risk scoring methods to predict first incident lumbar vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women matched for classical risk factors such as BMD, BMI, and age.

METHODS:
This was a case-control study of 126 postmenopausal women, 25 of whom sustained at least one incident lumbar fracture and 101 controls that maintained skeletal integrity over a 6.3-year period. Three methods for fracture risk assessment were developed and tested. They are based on anterior, middle, and posterior vertebral heights measured from vertebrae T12-L5 in lumbar radiographs at baseline. Each score's fracture prediction potential was investigated in two variants using (1) measurements from the single most deformed vertebra or (2) average measurements across vertebrae T12-L5. Emphasis was given to the vertebral fracture risk (VFR) score.

RESULTS:
All scoring methods demonstrated significant separation of cases from controls at baseline. Specifically, for the VFR score, cases and controls were significantly different (0.67 ± 0.04 vs. 0.35 ± 0.03, p < 10 (-6)) with an AUC of 0.82. Dividing the VFR scores into tertiles, the fracture odds ratio for the highest versus lowest tertile was 35 (p < 0.001). Sorting the combined case-control group according to VFR score resulted in 90% of cases in the top half.

CONCLUSION:
At baseline, the three scores separated cases from controls and, especially, the VFR score appears to be predictive of fractures. Control experiments, however also, indicate that VFR-based fracture prediction is operator/annotator dependent and high-quality annotations are needed for good fracture prediction.

Bone
2. Apr 2001

A quantitative assay for lysosomal acidification rates in human osteoclasts.

The osteoclast initiates resorption by creating a resorption lacuna. The ruffled border surrounding the lacunae arises from exocytosis of lysosomes. To dissolve the inorganic phase of the bone, the vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase, located in the ruffled border, pumps protons into the resorption lacunae. The electroneutrality of the lacunae is maintained by chloride transport through the chloride-proton antiporter chloride channel 7. Inhibition of either proton or chloride transport prevents bone resorption. The aims of this study were to validate the human osteoclastic microsome- based influx assay with respect to lysosomal acidification and assess whether it is a reliable test of a compound's ability to inhibit acidification. Investigated were the expression levels of the lysosomal acidification machinery, the activation of the assay by adenosine triphosphate, H(+) and Cl(-) dependency, the effect of valinomycin, inhibitor sensitivity, and the ion profile of the human osteoclast microsomes. The expression level of chloride channel 7 was increased in the human osteoclastic microsomes compared with whole osteoclasts. Acid influx was induced by 1.25 mM adenosine triphosphate. Further 1.1 μM valinomycin increased the acid influx by 129%. Total abrogation of acid influx was observed using both H(+) and Cl(-) ionophores. Finally, investigation of the anion profile demonstrated that Cl(-) and Br(-) are the preferred anions for the transporter. In conclusion, the acid influx assay based on microsomes from human osteoclasts is a useful tool for detection of inhibitors of the osteoclastic acidification machinery, and thus may aid the identification of effective drugs for osteoporosis that target the acid secretion by osteoclasts.

Bone
10. Jan 2011

Imatinib mesylate does not increase bone volume in vivo

Imatinib mesylate is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used in the management of disorders in which activation of c-Abl, PDGFR, or c-Kit signaling plays a critical role. In vitro, imatinib stimulates osteoblast differentiation, inhibits osteoblast proliferation and survival, and decreases osteoclast development. Patients treated with imatinib exhibit altered bone and mineral metabolism, with stable or increased bone mass. However, recovery from the underlying disease and/or weight gain might contribute to these effects. We therefore investigated the skeletal effects of imatinib in healthy rats. We evaluated the effects of imatinib on bone volume, markers of bone turnover, and bone histomorphometry in mature female rats treated for 5 weeks with either vehicle, imatinib 40 mg/kg daily, or imatinib 70 mg/kg daily. Compared to vehicle, imatinib reduced trabecular bone volume/tissue volume (mean [SD]: vehicle 26.4% [5.4%], low-dose imatinib 24.8% [4.9%] [P = 0.5], high-dose imatinib 21.1% [5.7%] [P = 0.05]), reduced osteoblast surface (mean [SD]: vehicle 12.8% [5.8%], low-dose 6.8% [1.9%] [P < 0.01], high-dose 7.8 [3.1%] [P < 0.05]), and reduced serum osteocalcin (mean change from baseline [95% CI]: vehicle -8.2 [-26.6 to 10.2] ng/ml, low dose -79.7 [-97.5 to -61.9] ng/ml [P < 0.01 vs. vehicle], high-dose -66.0 [-82.0 to -50.0] ng/ml [P < 0.05 vs. vehicle]). Imatinib did not affect biochemical or histomorphometric indices of bone resorption. These results suggest that, in healthy animals, treatment with imatinib does not increase bone mass and that the improvements in bone density reported in patients receiving imatinib may not be a direct effect of the drug.

Bone
7. Sep 2007

Dissolution of the inorganic phase of bone leading to release of calcium regulates osteoclast survival

Osteoclasts are the sole cells possessing the ability to resorb calcified bone matrix. This occurs via secretion of hydrochloric acid mediated by the V-ATPase and the chloride channel ClC-7. Loss of acidification leads to osteopetrosis characterized by ablation of bone resorption and increased osteoclast numbers, indicating increased life span of the osteoclasts. To investigate the role of the inorganic phase of bone with respect to osteoclast life span, we used the V-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin and the calcium uptake antagonist ryanodine on human osteoclasts cultured on calcified and decalcified bone slices. Bafilomycin inhibited bone resorption and increased osteoclast survival on calcified but not decalcified bones. Ryanodine attenuated calcium uptake and thereby augmented osteoclast survival on calcified bones. In summary, we found that acidification leading to calcium release from bone during resorption controls osteoclast survival, potentially explaining the increased numbers of osteoclasts in patients with osteopetrosis.

Bone, Osteoporosis
26. Oct 2010

Screening of protein kinase inhibitors identifies PKC inhibitors as inhibitors of osteoclastic acid secretion and bone resorption

BACKGROUND:
Bone resorption is initiated by osteoclastic acidification of the resorption lacunae. This process is mediated by secretion of protons through the V-ATPase and chloride through the chloride antiporter ClC-7. To shed light on the intracellular signalling controlling extracellular acidification, we screened a protein kinase inhibitor library in human osteoclasts.

METHODS:
Human osteoclasts were generated from CD14+ monocytes. The effect of different kinase inhibitors on lysosomal acidification in human osteoclasts was investigated using acridine orange for different incubation times (45 minutes, 4 and 24 hours). The inhibitors were tested in an acid influx assay using microsomes isolated from human osteoclasts. Bone resorption by human osteoclasts on bone slices was measured by calcium release. Cell viability was measured using AlamarBlue.

RESULTS:
Of the 51 compounds investigated only few inhibitors were positive in both acidification and resorption assays. Rottlerin, GF109203X, Hypericin and Ro31-8220 inhibited acid influx in microsomes and bone resorption, while Sphingosine and Palmitoyl-DL-carnitine-Cl showed low levels of inhibition. Rottlerin inhibited lysosomal acidification in human osteoclasts potently.

CONCLUSIONS:
In conclusion, a group of inhibitors all indicated to inhibit PKC reduced acidification in human osteoclasts, and thereby bone resorption, indicating that acid secretion by osteoclasts may be specifically regulated by PKC in osteoclasts.

Bone, Osteoporosis
14. Apr 2011

Strontium ranelate effect in postmenopausal women with different clinical levels of osteoarthritis.

OBJECTIVE:
The objective of this post hoc analysis was to investigate the effect of strontium ranelate on a cartilage degradation marker in postmenopausal women who participated in a randomized, placebo-controlled osteoporosis study. Women were stratified according to reported symptoms of osteoarthritis and to the baseline levels of a cartilage degradation marker.

METHODS:
The analysis included the 2617 postmenopausal women (75 years old) with osteoporosis randomized to strontium ranelate or placebo for a 36-month period. Cartilage degradation was evaluated using a validated urinary marker adjusted for creatinine (CTX-II/cr), whereas bone resorption was assessed by serum CTX-I. The presence of osteoarthritis was determined by individual interviews.

RESULTS:
CTX-II was significantly elevated at baseline in subjects with a history of osteoarthritis (OA+) compared to subjects who did not (OA-) (p < 0.0001), whereas CTX-I was unaffected by osteoarthritis status. Strontium ranelate caused a significant decrease from baseline in CTX-II over a 12-month period whatever the osteoarthritis status. Strontium ranelate-treated patients had a significant decrease in CTX-II compared to placebo in both OA+ and OA- groups up to 12 months, the difference remaining still significant at 36 months in patients from the OA- group (p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS:
The CTX-II profile of changes over 3 years may reflect efficacy of strontium ranelate against cartilage degradation, with an enhanced beneficial effect in subjects with early or mild clinical osteoarthritis, probably exerting its putative chondroprotective influence in early stages of the disease. Carefully controlled studies in targeted populations with early osteoarthritis are warranted to assess the role of strontium ranelate halting osteoarthritis progression.

Bone
10. Dec 2009

PLCL1 rs7595412 variation is not associated with hip bone size variation in postmenopausal Danish women.

BACKGROUND:
Bone size (BS) variation is under strong genetic control and plays an important role in determining bone strength and fracture risk. Recently, a genome-wide association study identified polymorphisms associated with hip BS variation in the PLCL1 (phospholipase c-like 1) locus. Carriers of the major A allele of the most significant polymorphism, rs7595412, have around 17% larger hip BS than non-carriers. We therefore hypothesized that this polymorphism may also influence postmenopausal complications.

METHODS:
The effects of rs7595412 on hip BS, bone mineral density (BMD), vertebral fractures, serum Crosslaps and osteocalcin levels were analyzed in 1,191 postmenopausal Danish women.

RESULTS:
This polymorphism had no influence on hip and spine BS as well as on femur and spine BMD. Women carrying at least one copy of the A allele had lower levels of serum osteocalcin as compared with those homozygous for the G allele (p = 0.03) whereas no effect on serum Crosslaps was detected. Furthermore, women homozygous for the A allele were more affected by vertebral fractures than those carrying at least one copy of the G allele (p = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:
In postmenopausal women, our results suggest that the PLCL1 rs7595412 polymorphism has no obvious effect on hip BS or BMD but may be nominally associated with increased proportion of vertebral fracture and increased levels of osteocalcin.

Bone
4. Apr 2009

Influence of food intake on the bioavailability and efficacy of oral calcitonin

AIMS:
To investigate the influence of food intake on the bioavailability and pharmacodynamic effects of salmon calcitonin (sCT).

METHODS:
A single-blind, randomized, partly placebo-controlled study was conducted in 36 healthy postmenopausal female volunteers aged 62-74 years. The influence of food intake on oral dosing with 0.8 mg of sCT at 22.00 h was evaluated for a (i) predose meal at 18.00 h, (ii) predose meal at 20.00 h, (iii) predose meal at 21.00 h, (iv) postdose meal at 22.10 h, (v) no meal, and (vi) meal at 20.00 h and placebo at 22.00 h. Study biomarkers were plasma sCT levels and changes in the bone resorption marker CTX-I (C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I).

RESULTS:
The predose meal at 18.00 and 21.00 h significantly decreased relative oral bioavailability of sCT to 26% [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09, 0.73 and 0.09, 0.75, P= 0.009 and P= 0.01]. The meal consumed 10 min after dosing decreased the oral bioavailability of sCT to 59% (95% CI 0.21, 1.68), although nonsignificant (P= 0.48). This decreased bioavailability led to lower relative suppression of serum CTX-I, with an AUC of the 4-h efficacy response of -91%-x-hours for those receiving a meal at 18.00 h, compared with -238%-x-hours for fasting subjects. The Dunnett-adjusted difference between these two treatment sequences was 147%-x-hours (95% CI 68, 225) (P= 0.0003). The AUC was comparable among fasting subjects and those consuming a meal 10 min after dosing.

CONCLUSIONS:
Postprandial dosing may limit the bioavailability of orally administered sCT. Maximal benefit can be achieved by dosing at least 10 min prior to meal time.

Bone
18. Feb 2010

The effect of oral salmon calcitonin delivered with 5-CNAC on bone and cartilage degradation in osteoarthritic patients: a 14-day randomized study.

BACKGROUND:
The aim of this study was to investigate the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of oral salmon calcitonin (oSCT) administered over 14 days to men and women presenting with osteoarthritis (OA).

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
The study was a phase-I, 2-week, placebo-controlled, double-blind, double-dummy, randomized, gender-stratified study including 73 subjects aged 57-75 years. Patients had painful OA with a Kellgren and Lawrence index score of I-III. Treatment allocations were; 0.6 mg, 0.8 mg of oSCT, or placebo. Treatment was given twice daily for 14 days. The morning dose was administered between 07:00 and 08:00 at least 30 min before breakfast. The second dose was administered 30 min before evening dinner. On treatment day 1 and 14, the morning dose was followed by 5h of fasting, and blood samples and urine were collected immediately prior to dosing and according to the protocol. Study parameters were: plasma sCT levels, bone resorption by CTX-I (serum C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I), bone formation by osteocalcin (serum OC), and cartilage degradation by CTX-II (urine C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type II) (clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00486369).

RESULTS:
Doses of 0.8 mg compared with 0.6 mg produced significantly higher C(max) and AUC(0-4 hrs), of calcitonin, P=0.03. This resulted in significant reductions in CTX-I and CTX-II, [P<0.0001; P=0.007]. No differences were observed between baseline and follow-up at day 14 in pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters. Gender had no observable influence on results.

CONCLUSIONS:
oSCT given twice daily with a pre-dinner and morning fasting dosing resulted in reductions in markers of bone resorption and cartilage degradation.

Bone
16. Jan 2010

Investigations of inter- and intraindividual relationships between exposure to oral salmon calcitonin and a surrogate marker of pharmacodynamic efficacy.

AIMS:
The aims of the study were to investigate interindividual variations in the bioavailability of salmon calcitonin (sCT) following single oral 0.8 mg doses at three different times of the day, and intraindividual variation in sCT bioavailability at each end of a 14-day treatment period. We also investigated correlations between exposure to sCT and levels of the bone resorption biomarker serum C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX-I).

METHODS:
Participants were from two randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies. In study I, healthy postmenopausal women received a single dose of 0.8 mg of oral sCT or placebo at 08:00 (n = 42), 17:00 (n = 20), or at 22:00 (n = 19). In study II, age-matched men or postmenopausal women with osteoarthritis received 0.8 mg oral sCT (n = 26) or placebo (n = 23) twice daily for 14 days, with dosing at 08:00 and 17:00. In both studies, drug exposure was assessed by plasma sCT concentrations, and bone resorption by CTX-I levels.

RESULTS:
The variability in exposure between patients, measured as coefficient of variation (CV), was as follows: 22% for the morning dose, 30% for the predinner dose, and 34% for the evening dose. In study 1, a high degree of correlation was seen between the level of exposure following a single 0.8 mg dose of sCT and suppression of serum CTX-I, with Pearson correlation coefficients of r = -0.74, -0.96, and -0.78, following doses at 08:00, 17:00, and 22:00, respectively. In study II, exposure to sCT varied widely within the same individuals between dosing days 1 and 14, with weak correlations of r = 0.40 and 0.38 at the dose times 08:00 and 17:00, respectively. As expected from this finding, the intraindividual response in serum CTX-I levels was non-significantly associated on dosing days 1 and 14 (r = 0.34 and r = 0.27 at dose
times 08:00 and 17:00, respectively).

CONCLUSION:
Increased bioavailability of orally administered 0.8 mg sCT was highly correlated with increased suppression of the bone resorption marker serum CTX-I irrespective of the time of day. However, the high inter- and intraindividual variability in sCT exposure demonstrates the importance of determining the optimum conditions for ensuring the most beneficial sCT uptake

Bone
2. Feb 2009

A pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic comparison of synthetic and recombinant oral salmon calcitonin.

The aim of this study was to assess the bioavailability and pharmacodynamic efficacy of synthetic salmon calcitonin (ssCT) and recombinant salmon calcitonin (rsCT) in healthy postmenopausal women. The study was a single-blind, randomized study. Participants were 36 postmenopausal women 62 to 74 years old, randomly assigned to a comparison of dosing with ssCT (n = 12) or rsCT (n = 24) given in the morning at 08:00. Study parameters were plasma CT levels measured up to 2 hours postdose and changes in the bone resorption marker serum CTX-I and the cartilage degradation marker urine CTX-II measured up to 4 hours postdose. For both formulations, peak plasma concentrations were obtained 15 minutes after dosage, and no statistically significant differences in the uptake of CT were observed. Measurement of bone resorption and cartilage degradation markers displayed comparable responses, with AUCs of relative change of serum CTX-I of -250% x hours and relative change of urine CTX-II of -180% x hours during the 4-hour observation period. In conclusion, oral synthetic and recombinant calcitonin displayed comparable pharmacodynamic and kinetic properties.

Bone
4. Dec 2008

Investigation of the diurnal variation in bone resorption for optimal drug delivery and efficacy in osteoporosis with oral calcitonin.

BACKGROUND:
Bone resorption displays marked diurnal variation. Reversible inhibition of bone resorption may result in best possible efficacy when bone resorption peaks. The aim of the study was to assess the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) profiles of 0.8 mg of oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) and the effect of timing of drug intake.

METHODS:
The study was a randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, placebo-controlled, phase I study to assess the pharmacokinetic (PK) and pharmacodynamic (PD) profiles of 0.8 mg of oral sCT in healthy postmenopausal women. Totally 81 subjects were included, aimed at investigation of a morning dose given at 8:00 (n = 42), a pre-dinner dose given at 17:00 (n = 20), and an evening dose given at 22:00 (n = 19). Plasma sCT concentrations and bone resorption (C-terminal-telopeptide of collagen type I (CTX-I)) was assessed.

RESULTS:
Morning and pre-dinner dosing led to comparable concentration of sCT of 45 pg/ml, whereas there was a tendency towards lower Cmax for the evening dosing having a mean of 24 pg/ml. The maximum difference from placebo was observed 1 to 3 hours post-dose with a 40 to 50% suppression consequent to morning dose, and about 75% suppression after pre-dinner and evening dose, due to the increase bone resorption as a result of circadian variation.

CONCLUSION:
The study suggests that orally administered 0.8 mg of salmon calcitonin was effective in suppression of serum CTX irrespective of time of dosing. The pre-dinner dosing resulted in optimum efficacy response corresponding to an overall suppression of bone resorption by 25%

Bone
12. Jan 2009

Advances in osteoclast biology resulting from the study of osteopetrotic mutations

Osteopetrosis is the result of mutations affecting osteoclast function. Careful analyses of osteopetrosis have provided instrumental information on bone remodeling, including the coupling of bone formation to bone resorption. Based on a range of novel genetic mutations and the resulting osteoclast phenotypes, we discuss how osteopetrosis models have clarified the function of the coupling of bone formation to bone resorption, and the pivotal role of the osteoclast and their function in this phenomenon. We highlight the distinct possibility that osteoclast activities can be divided into two separate avenues: bone resorption and control of bone formation.

Bone
8. Sep 2008

Optimizing bioavailability of oral administration of small peptides through pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters: the effect of water and timing of meal intake on oral delivery of Salmon Calcitonin.

BACKGROUND:
To investigate the influence of water intake and dose timing on the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of an oral formulation of salmon calcitonin (sCT).

METHODS:
The study was a randomized, partially-blind, placebo-controlled, single dose, exploratory crossover phase I study. 56 healthy postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to receive five treatments. The treatments comprised a combination of study medication (SMC021 (0.8 mg sCT + 200 mg 5-CNAC), SMC021 placebo, or 200 IU Miacalcic NS nasal spray), water volume given with the tablet (50 or 200 ml water), and time between dosing and meal (10, 30, or 60 minutes pre-meal). Plasma sCT levels and changes in the bone resorption (C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type I) was investigated. Trial regristration.

RESULTS:
Oral delivery of 0.8 mg of sCT with 50 ml of water compared to that with 200 ml water resulted in a two-fold increase in maximum concentration (Cmax and AUC0-4) of plasma sCT but comparable time to reach maximum concentration (Tmax). The sCT AUC0-4 with 50 ml of water was 4-fold higher than that obtained with nasal calcitonin. The increased absorption of sCT resulted in increased efficacy demonstrated by AUC of the relative change of serum CTX-I measured in the 6 hours post dosing.

CONCLUSION:
0.8 mg sCT with 50 ml of water taken 30 and 60 minutes prior to meal time resulted in optimal pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic parameters. The data suggest that this novel oral formulation may have improved absorption and reduction of bone resorption compared to that of the nasal form.

Bone
22. Mar 2008

Calcitonin: a drug of the past or for the future? Physiologic inhibition of bone resorption while sustaining osteoclast numbers improves bone quality

Postmenopausal osteoporosis results from a continuous imbalance between bone resorption and bone formation, favoring bone resorption. An increasing number of treatments for osteoporosis are in development and on the market. A range of differences and similarities are found between these treatment options, and these need to be carefully evaluated before the initiation of treatment. This article summarizes data from in vitro and animal studies, as well as clinical trials, on the effect of calcitonin on bone turnover. Calcitonin was found to exert its antiresorptive effects via directly reducing osteoclastic resorption, and thus leads to an increase in bone mineral density and bone strength. Furthermore, calcitonin appears to mainly target the most active osteoclasts, and in contrast to most other antiresorptive agents it does not reduce the number of osteoclasts. Finally, in humans, while attenuating resorption, calcitonin treatment does not interfere markedly with bone formation, in contrast to other currently available antiresorptive agents. Thus, we speculate that calcitonin treatment will lead to a continuously positive bone balance in contrast with other antiresorptive agents currently on the market and thereby, in a physiologic manner, result in improved bone quality. Calcitonin is currently only available in injectable and nasal formulations. An oral formulation may, however, improve patient acceptance and compliance. Currently, several different routes are being pursued to identify an optimal oral formulation, of which the technology based on 5-CNAC is the most advanced. There are promising clinical data available for this formulation from both osteoarthritis and osteoporosis clinical trials, although the antifracture efficacy is not yet known.

Bone
19. Sep 2008

The effects of oral calcitonin on bone collagen maturation: implications for bone turnover and quality

Anti-resorptive strategies may affect bone collagen maturation differently depending on the mode of action. Orally administrated calcitonin resulted in a dose dependent inhibition of bone resorption but did not change bone collagen maturation. This may reflect aspects of bone quality.

INTRODUCTION:
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of oral calcitonin on bone collagen maturation measured as the ratio between the degradation products of newly synthesized C-telopeptides of type I collagen (alphaalphaCTX) and mature isomerized betabetaCTX in postmenopausal women.

METHODS:
Participants were from a phase II study. A total of 168 postmenopausal women were included and treated with placebo, 0.15, 0.4, 1, or 2.5 mg calcitonin daily. The non-isomerized alphaalphaCTX and isomerized betabetaCTX were measured in 24-hour urine samples obtained at baseline, and after 1 day, 1 month and 3 months of therapy.

RESULTS:
Calcitonin, significantly and dose-dependently inhibited bone resorption by up to 50% as measured by alphaalphaCTX and isomerized betabetaCTX. Bone collagen maturation measured as the ratio between alphaalphaCTX and betabetaCTX remained unchanged during treatment with calcitonin.

CONCLUSIONS:
Calcitonin dose-dependently and significantly reduced both alphaalphaCTX to betabetaCTX levels in urine without affecting the alphaalphaCTX to betabetaCTX ratio. This is in direct contrast to other anti-resorptive therapies, in which strong treatment-dependent effect on the endogenous age profile of bone has been observed. These data highlight that even though the treatments may have comparable effects on BMD, endogenous bone composition, which may be associated to bone quality, is strongly affected by the type of intervention, in which calcitonin display highly divergent effects from that of other anti-resorptives.

Bone
8. Feb 2008

Osteoclasts secrete non-bone derived signals that induce bone formation.

Bone turnover is a highly regulated process, where bone resorption in the normal healthy individual always is followed by bone formation in a manner referred to as coupling. Patients with osteopetrosis caused by defective acidification of the resorption lacuna have severely decreased resorption, in face of normal or even increased bone formation. This suggests that osteoclasts, not their resorptive activity, are important for sustaining bone formation. To investigate whether osteoclasts mediate control of bone formation by production of bone anabolic signals, we collected conditioned media (CM) from human osteoclasts cultured on either bone or plastic, and tested their effects on bone nodule formation by osteoblasts. Both types of CM were shown to dose-dependently induce bone nodule formation, whereas non-conditioned osteoclast culture medium had no effects. These data show that osteoclasts secrete non-bone derived factors, which induce preosteoblasts to form bone-like nodules, potentially explaining the imbalanced coupling seen in osteopetrotic patients.

Bone
10. Apr 2006

Mechanisms involved in skeletal anabolic therapies

Since parathyroid hormone (PTH) is the only proven anabolic therapy for bone, it becomes the benchmark by which new treatments will be evaluated. The anabolic effect of PTH is dependent upon intermittent administration, but when an elevated PTH level is maintained even for a few hours it initiates processes leading to new osteoclast formation, and the consequent resorption overrides the effects of activating genes that direct bone formation. Identification of PTH-related protein (PTHrP) production by cells early in the osteoblast lineage, and its action through the PTH1R upon more mature osteoblastic cells, together with the observation that PTHrP+/- mice are osteoporotic, all raise the possibility that PTHrP is a crucial paracrine regulator of bone formation. The finding that concurrent treatment with bisphosphonates impairs the anabolic response to PTH, adds to other clues that osteoclast activity is necessary to complement the direct effect that PTH has in promoting differentiation of committed osteoblast precursors. This might involve the generation of a coupling factor from osteoclasts that are transiently activated by receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) in response to PTH. New approaches to anabolic therapies may come from the discovery that an activating mutation in the LRP5 gene is responsible for an inherited high bone mass syndrome, and the fact that this can be recapitulated in transgenic mice, whereas inactivating mutations result in severe bone loss. This has focused attention on the Wnt/frizzled/beta-catenin pathway as being important in bone formation, and proof of the concept has been obtained in experimental models.

Bone
15. Jun 2006

Optimising antiresorptive therapies in postmenopausal women: why do we need to give due consideration to the degree of suppression?

Accelerated bone turnover with bone resorption exceeding bone formation is a major mechanism underlying postmenopausal bone loss and hence the development of osteoporosis. Accordingly, inhibition of bone resorption is a rational approach for the prevention of osteoporosis. In this context, the most logical option, hormone replacement therapy, reverses the rate of bone turnover to premenopausal levels, whereas the magnitude of inhibition by amino-bisphosphonates and the recently introduced anti-receptor activator of NFkappaB ligand (RANKL) antibody often exceeds this. As bone turnover has crucial implications for the continuous renewal of bone tissue, the over-suppression of bone turnover has potential consequences for bone quality and strength. Long-term treatment with potent bisphosphonates has recently been associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw and dose-dependent increases in micro-crack accumulation in animals. Although these observations are the subject of ongoing discussions, it is timely to discuss whether the over-suppression of bone turnover below premenopausal levels is really our ultimate goal when defining the success criteria for antiresorptive agents. In this review, the implications of high and excessively low bone turnover of endogenous origin for bone quality, fracture risk and integrity of the jaw are discussed. In addition, animal and clinical research revealing initial findings regarding the potential adverse effects of drug-induced suppression of bone remodeling are summarised. The inhibition of bone resorption, which is either transient between doses (e.g. with calcitonin) or does not exceed premenopausal levels (with hormone replacement therapy or selective estrogen receptor modulators), is preferable because it not only provides similar antifracture efficacy but can also assist in the maintenance of the dynamic repair of micro-cracks/micro-fractures.

Bone
22. Apr 2007

Are nonresorbing osteoclasts sources of bone anabolic activity?

Some osteopetrotic mutations lead to low resorption, increased numbers of osteoclasts, and increased bone formation, whereas other osteopetrotic mutations lead to low resorption, low numbers of osteoclasts, and decreased bone formation. Elaborating on these findings, we discuss the possibility that osteoclasts are the source of anabolic signals for osteoblasts. In normal healthy individuals, bone formation is coupled to bone resorption in a tight equilibrium. When this delicate balance is disturbed, the net result is pathological situations, such as osteopetrosis or osteoporosis. Human osteopetrosis, caused by mutations in proteins involved in the acidification of the resorption lacuna (ClC-7 or the a3-V-ATPase), is characterized by decreased resorption in face of normal or even increased bone formation. Mouse mutations leading to ablation of osteoclasts (e.g., loss of macrophage-colony stimulating factor [M-CSF] or c-fos) lead to secondary negative effects on bone formation, in contrast to mutations where bone resorption is abrogated with sustained osteoclast numbers, such as the c-src mice. These data indicate a central role for osteoclasts, and not necessarily their resorptive activity, in the control of bone formation. In this review, we consider the balance between bone resorption and bone formation, reviewing novel data that have shown that this principle is more complex than originally thought. We highlight the distinct possibility that osteoclast function can be divided into two more or less separate functions, namely bone resorption and stimulation of bone formation. Finally, we describe the likely possibility that bone resorption can be attenuated pharmacologically without the undesirable reduction in bone formation.

Bone
5. Feb 2005

Acidification of the osteoclastic resorption compartment provides insight into the coupling of bone formation to bone resorption.

Patients with defective osteoclastic acidification have increased numbers of osteoclasts, with decreased resorption, but bone formation that remains unchanged. We demonstrate that osteoclast survival is increased when acidification is impaired, and that impairment of acidification results in inhibition of bone resorption without inhibition of bone formation. We investigated the role of acidification in human osteoclastic resorption and life span in vitro using inhibitors of chloride channels (NS5818/NS3696), the proton pump (bafilomycin) and cathepsin K. We found that bafilomycin and NS5818 dose dependently inhibited acidification of the osteoclastic resorption compartment and bone resorption. Inhibition of bone resorption by inhibition of acidification, but not cathepsin K inhibition, augmented osteoclast survival, which resulted in a 150 to 300% increase in osteoclasts compared to controls. We investigated the effect of inhibition of osteoclastic acidification in vivo by using the rat ovariectomy model with twice daily oral dosing of NS3696 at 50 mg/kg for 6 weeks. We observed a 60% decrease in resorption (DPYR), increased tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase levels, and no effect on bone formation evaluated by osteocalcin. We speculate that attenuated acidification inhibits dissolution of the inorganic phase of bone and results in an increased number of nonresorbing osteoclasts that are responsible for the coupling to normal bone formation. Thus, we suggest that acidification is essential for normal bone remodeling and that attenuated acidification leads to uncoupling with decreased bone resorption and unaffected bone formation.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
2. Feb 2010

Biglycan and fibromodulin have essential roles in regulating chondrogenesis and extracellular matrix turnover in temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis.

The temporomandibular joint is critical for jaw movements and allows for mastication, digestion of food, and speech. Temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that is marked by permanent cartilage destruction and loss of extracellular matrix (ECM). To understand how the ECM regulates mandibular condylar chondrocyte (MCC) differentiation and function, we used a genetic mouse model of temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis that is deficient in two ECM proteins, biglycan and fibromodulin (Bgn(-/0)Fmod(-/-)). Given the unavailability of cell lines, we first isolated primary MCCs and found that they were phenotypically unique from hyaline articular chondrocytes isolated from the knee joint. Using Bgn(-/0) Fmod(-/-) MCCs, we discovered the early basis for temporomandibular joint osteoarthritis arises from abnormal and accelerated chondrogenesis. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1 is a growth factor that is critical for chondrogenesis and binds to both biglycan and fibromodulin. Our studies revealed the sequestration of TGF-beta1 was decreased within the ECM of Bgn(-/0) Fmod(-/-) MCCs, leading to overactive TGF-beta1 signal transduction. Using an explant culture system, we found that overactive TGF-beta1 signals induced chondrogenesis and ECM turnover in this model. We demonstrated for the first time a comprehensive study revealing the importance of the ECM in maintaining the mandibular condylar cartilage integrity and identified biglycan and fibromodulin as novel key players in regulating chondrogenesis and ECM turnover during temoporomandibular joint osteoarthritis pathology.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Feb 2010

Application of biochemical markers in development of drugs for treatment of osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a chronic disease for which no efficacious medical intervention is yet available. Recent disappointments in late-stage clinical development of disease-modifying osteoarthritic drugs (DMOADs) have precipitated efforts in biomarker discovery aimed at developing an analytical tool box with the potential to improve the clinical development process. In this review, we seek to provide an overview of the biochemical marker repertoire currently available with a special focus on data originating from their application in clinical development programmes. Finally, we discuss possible directions in future biomarker research.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
1. Apr 2010

Procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (PINP) is a marker for fibrogenesis in bile duct ligation-induced fibrosis in rats.

BACKGROUND:
Fibrosis can be described as the excess deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) components, such as collagens and proteoglycans. Fibrosis of the liver, which eventually leads to cirrhosis, is a major global health problem. Being able to measure fibrosis progression may enable timely preventative intervention. The aim of the current study was to investigate the utility of serum procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (PINP) as a marker of hepatic fibrosis, as distinct from bone formation, during three different periods of fibrosis development following hepatic injury induced by bile duct ligation (BDL) in rats.

METHODS:
BDL was performed on 30 female Sprague-Dawley rats aged 6 months, and sham operations on 30 controls. Animals were killed after 14, 28, or 35 days. The extent of liver fibrosis was evaluated by quantitative histology after Sirus Red staining. Levels of serum PINP and osteocalcin (a marker solely for osteoblastic bone formation) were determined using ELISA at baseline and post termination.

RESULTS:
Collagen formation increased by 30% compared to 3% in sham-operated animals (P < 0.0001). PINP levels increased significantly in all BDL groups compared with baseline (14 days: baseline 13.9 ng/ml, termination 17.7 ng/ml, P = 0.047; 28 days: baseline 17.9 ng/ml, termination 26.2 ng/ml, P = 0.005; 35 days: baseline 18.0 ng/ml, termination 27.4 ng/ml P = 0.015, an increase of 52%). PINP levels did not change from baseline in the sham-operated rats, indicating that the increased PINP levels were due to hepatic injury. The bone-specific marker, osteocalcin, did not increase in either BDL or sham-operated rats. PINP measured in serum correlated to the extent of liver fibrosis as evaluated by quantitative histology (R2 = 0.42, P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:
PINP was associated with the development of liver fibrosis, but not bone formation, in mature rats subjected to BDL. Thus, PINP may be useful in studying the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis. However, caution should be applied when interpreting PINP levels in other disease states.

Bone
7. Nov 2003

Transforming growth factor-beta controls human osteoclastogenesis through the p38 MAPK and regulation of RANK expression

Although RANK-L is essential for osteoclast formation, factors such as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) are potent modulators of osteoclastogenic stimuli. To systematically investigate the role of TGF-beta in human osteoclastogenesis, monocytes were isolated from peripheral blood by three distinct approaches, resulting in either a lymphocyte-rich, a lymphocyte-poor, or a pure osteoclast precursor (CD14-positive) cell population. In each of these osteoclast precursor populations, the effect of TGF-beta on proliferation, TRAP activity, and bone resorption was investigated with respect to time and length of exposure. When using the highly pure CD14 osteoclast precursor cell population, the effect of TGF-beta was strongly dependent on the stage of osteoclast maturation. When monocytes were exposed to TGF-beta during the initial culture period (days 1-7), TRAP activity and bone resorption were increased by 40%, whereas the cell number was reduced by 25%. A similar decrease in cell number was observed when TGF-beta was present during the entire culture period (days 1-21), but in direct contrast, TRAP activity, cell fusion, cathepsin K, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 expression as well as bone resorption were almost completely abrogated. Moreover, we found that latent TGF-beta was strongly activated by incubation with MMP-9 and suggest this to be a highly relevant mechanism for regulating osteoclast activity. To further investigate the molecular mechanism responsible for the divergent effects of continuous versus discontinuous exposure to TGF-beta, we examined RANK expression and p38 MAPK activation. We found the TGF-beta strongly induced p38 MAPK in monocytes, but not in mature osteoclasts, and that continuous exposure of TGF-beta to monocytes down-regulated RANK expression. The current results suggest that TGF-beta promotes human osteoclastogenesis in monocytes through stimulation of the p38 MAPK, whereas continuous exposure to TGF-beta abrogates osteoclastogenesis through down-regulation of RANK expression and therefore attenuation of RANK-RANK-L signaling.

Bone
15. May 2016

The type I collagen fragments ICTP and CTX reveal distinct enzymatic pathways of bone collagen degradation

Bone resorption may generate collagen fragments such as ICTP and CTX, which can be quantified in serum and/or urine by using specific immunoassays, and which are used as clinical markers. However, the relative abundance of ICTP and CTX varies according to the type of bone pathology, suggesting that these two fragments are generated through distinct collagenolytic pathways. In this study, we analyzed the release of ICTP and CTX from bone collagen by the proteinases reported to play a role in the solubilization of bone matrix. Cathepsin K released large amounts of CTX, but did not allow a detectable release of ICTP. Conversely, the matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) MMP-2, -9, -13, or -14 released ICTP, but did not allow a detectable release of CTX. Next we analyzed the release of ICTP and CTX from bone explants cultured in the presence of well-established inhibitors of these proteinases and of matrix solubilization. An inhibitor of cysteine proteinases including cathepsin K, inhibited the release of CTX, but not the release of ICTP. MMP inhibitors inhibited the release of ICTP, but also that of CTX, in agreement with the putative role of MMPs in the initiation of bone resorption in addition to matrix solubilization. Similarly the treatment of mice bearing bone metastasis with an MMP inhibitor led to a significant reduction of serum ICTP and CTX, and osteolytic lesions. We conclude that the generation of ICTP and CTX depends on different collagenolytic pathways. This finding may explain why these two markers may discriminate between different bone pathologies.

Oncology, Breast
16. Jul 2009

Low-dose transdermal estradiol induces breast density and heterogeneity changes comparable to those of raloxifene

The aim of this study was to investigate whether transdermal low-dose estradiol treatment induces changes in mammographic density or heterogeneity compared with raloxifene, whether if these changes relate to changes in bone formation/resorption markers, and whether these findings indicate elevation of breast cancer risk by treatment.

METHODS:
Digitized mammograms of 2 x 135 completers of a 2-year, randomized trial formed the base of the present analysis. Active treatments were transdermal estradiol releasing 0.014 mg estradiol (E2)/week and orally administered raloxifene hydrochloride 60 mg/day, respectively. Influence of the therapies on breast density was assessed with categorical scores Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System, area percentage density, and computer-based (E2-specific) heterogeneity examination of radiographs. These where related to physical and systemic markers.

RESULTS:
At baseline, no mammography scoring methodology or other marker could separate the two treatment groups of transdermal estradiol and raloxifene. No treatment induced significant density changes measured by Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System. Both treatments made the area percentage density increase and the estradiol significantly. Both treatments induced significant changes in E2-specific heterogeneity scoring (E2-specific heterogeneity examination of radiograph), and the raloxifene treatment induced a significantly higher change. At baseline, the mammographic markers showed negative correlation with body mass index and positive correlation with serum type I collagen crosslinks C-telopeptide. The changes in mammographic markers did not essentially exhibit correlations to changes in bone markers in either treatment group.

CONCLUSIONS:
Low-dose transdermal estradiol and raloxifene induced comparable changes in breast density and heterogeneity. Baseline correlations may be explained through relations to obesity. The current study does not yield evidence against the hypothesis that "neither raloxifene nor low dose transdermal estradiol treatment increases the breast cancer risk."

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
5. Nov 2009

Long-term prevention with hormone-replacement therapy after the menopause: which women should be targeted?

For decades, hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) was considered safe and was the first choice in prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis induced by estrogen deficiency. Numerous experimental and epidemiological studies further supported a protective effect of exogenous female sex hormones on atherogenesis and coronary heart disease (CHD) in women after the menopause. However, the fact that these promising results were not translated into lower incidences of CHD events in hormone-treated women compared with placebo in subsequent, large, randomized studies of healthy subjects as well as women with known CHD raised a very intense debate concerning the safety of HRT in terms of cardiovascular risk. A critical mass of data points toward a protective influence of HRT on cardiovascular disease end points in early postmenopausal women, but increased harm in elderly women, especially those with abdominal adiposity or metabolic syndrome. Once the quasi-hysterical reaction to the largest of the randomized studies (the Women's Health Initiative) has abated, a future strategy should be to concentrate on identifying those relatively few individuals who are not suitable for HRT, as HRT still remains the most thoroughly investigated pharmacological prevention strategy of osteoporosis

Bone
15. Nov 2002

Matrix metalloproteinase-dependent activation of latent transforming growth factor-beta controls the conversion of osteoblasts into osteocytes by blocking osteoblast apoptosis

Upon termination of bone matrix synthesis, osteoblasts either undergo apoptosis or differentiate into osteocytes or bone lining cells. In this study, we investigated the role of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and growth factors in the differentiation of osteoblasts into osteocytes and in osteoblast apoptosis. The mouse osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1 and primary mouse calvarial osteoblasts were either grown on two-dimensional (2-D) collagen-coated surfaces, where they morphologically resemble flattened, cuboidal bone lining cells, or embedded in three-dimensional (3-D) collagen gels, where they resemble dendritic osteocytes constituting a network of cells. When MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts were grown in a 3-D matrix in the presence of an MMP inhibitor (GM6001), the cell number was dose-dependently reduced by approximately 50%, whereas no effect was observed on a 2-D substratum. In contrast, the murine mature osteocyte cell line, MLO-Y4, was unaffected by GM6001 under all culture conditions. According to TUNEL assay, the osteoblast apoptosis was increased 2.5-fold by 10 microm GM6001. To investigate the mechanism by which MMPs mediate the survival of osteoblasts, we examined the effect of GM6001 on MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts in the presence of extracellular matrix components and growth factors, including tenascin, fibronectin, laminin, collagenase-cleaved collagen, gelatin, parathyroid hormone, basic fibroblast growth factor, vascular epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor, interleukin-1, and latent and active transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). Only active TGF-beta, but not latent TGF-beta or other agents tested, restored cell number and apoptosis to control levels. Furthermore, we found that the membrane type MMP, MT1-MMP, which is produced by osteoblasts, could activate latent TGF-beta and that antibodies neutralizing endogenous TGF-beta led to a similar decrease in cell number as GM6001. Whereas inhibitors of other protease families did not induce osteoblast apoptosis, an inhibitor of the p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase showed the same but non-synergetic effect as GM6001. These findings suggest that MMP-activated TGF-beta maintains osteoblast survival during trans-differentiation into osteocytes by a p44/42-dependent pathway.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
21. Dec 2015

Serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein and development of radiographic and painful knee osteoarthritis. A community-based cohort of middle-aged women

CONTEXT AND OBJECTIVE:
We evaluated the predictive value of serum cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (sCOMP) levels over 20 years on the development of radiographic (RKOA) and painful knee osteoarthritis (KOA) in a longitudinal cohort of middle-aged women.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Five hundred and ninety-three women with no baseline KOA underwent 5-year knee radiographs over 20-years and were asked about knee pain a month before each assessment. A repeated measures logistic regression model was used where the outcomes were recorded at 5, 10, 15 and 20-years follow-up.

RESULTS:
The highest quartile of sCOMP was associated with increased risk of RKOA with overall OR of 1.97 (95% CI: 1.33-2.91) over 20 years when compared with the lowest sCOMP quartile. The association with painful KOA was similar and also independent, but only when the fourth and third sCOMP quartiles were compared.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:
This study demonstrates that sCOMP levels are predictive of subsequent structural changes and incidence of painful KOA, independently of age and BMI

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
11. Feb 2008

An update review of cellular mechanisms conferring the indirect and direct effects of estrogen on articular cartilage

OBJECTIVE:
To review cellular mechanisms that have been proposed to mediate the indirect and direct effects of estrogen on articular cartilage, and to outline the remaining clinical questions that need to be clarified before utilizing the beneficial effects of estrogen for the prevention of osteoarthritis in early postmenopausal women.

DESIGN:
Summary of original research papers and reviews listed in Pubmed (1980-2007).

RESULTS:
Estrogen receptors have been identified in articular chondrocytes from various animals and humans. Molecular studies showed that estrogen can elicit genomic and rapid non-genomic effects on various cell types, including chondrocytes, and the latter effects are only inducible in females. In addition to direct effects, estrogen can also affect the homeostasis of articular cartilage by modulating the expression/production of different molecules such as various growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, matrix metalloproteinases, and reactive oxygen species. Moreover, in vivo observation argues for the notion that inhibition of subchondral bone turnover is also part of the mechanisms by which estrogen (and antiresorptive agents in general) can protect against joint degradation. Published studies undertaken at cellular, tissue, and in vivo levels illustrate that the effect of estrogen on cartilage may depend on the dose applied, the administration route, the time of initiation, and whether it is combined with a progestin.

CONCLUSIONS:
The herein reviewed direct and indirect effects of estrogen on articular cartilage further corroborate the due consideration of estrogen therapy for maintaining not only bone but also cartilage health in postmenopausal women. Future studies in postmenopausal women are needed to clarify whether the efficacy of estrogen therapy can be further optimized by using other forms of estrogen, other progestins, or by initiating the therapy in the peri- or early postmenopausal period.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
10. Apr 2008

Oestrogen exhibits type II collagen protective effects and attenuates collagen-induced arthritis in rats.

As anti-inflammatory treatments used in rheumatoid arthritis, such as glucocorticoids, often result in secondary detrimental effects on bone health, the objective of this study was to investigate the effects of oestrogen therapy (ET) on the development and activity of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in rats, with a focus on assessment of chondroprotective effects using biomarkers of type II collagen degradation. Forty female Lewis rats were allocated into four intervention groups: (i) control + vehicle; (ii) CIA + vehicle; (iii) CIA + ET; and (iv) CIA + prednisolone. During the 28-day intervention period we monitored body weight, time-point of disease onset, incidence of manifest disease and paw volume. Levels of the type II collagen degradation marker (CTX-II) were measured in serum. At euthanasia, hind paws were isolated, extracted for proteins and measured for the concentration of CTX-II. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity was evaluated using gelatinase zymography. Oestrogen treatment delayed the time-point of disease onset and reduced the incidence and degree of manifest immunoarthritis significantly, assessed by macroscopic evaluation of hind paw inflammation and paw volume. Measures of serum or tissue levels of CTX-II showed significantly reduced type II collagen degradation elicited by oestrogen treatment. In alignment, a decreased activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 was found in the paw protein extracts. We have demonstrated that the anti-inflammatory effect of ET is linked to chondroprotective effects in an animal model of systemic immunoarthritis. As ET has positive rather than negative effects on bone health in contrast to prednisolone, these observations may be important for potential combination therapy.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
16. Jun 2008

Should subchondral bone turnover be targeted when treating osteoarthritis?

OBJECTIVE:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritic disease, and it is a major cause of disability and impaired quality of life in the elderly. OA is a complex disease of the entire joint, including bone and cartilage, thereby presenting alternative approaches for treatment. This review summarizes emerging observations from cell biology to preliminary clinical trials, describing interactions between the bone and cartilage components. We speculate whether a treatment for OA would be possible without targeting the bone compartment?

METHODS:
Peer-reviewed articles found using pre-defined search criteria and published in the PubMed database until June 2007 are summarized. In addition, abstracts from the OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) conferences in the time period 2000-2007 were included.

RESULTS:
Bone and cartilage health seem to be tightly associated. Ample evidence is found for bone changes during progression of OA, including, but not limited to, increased turnover in the subchondral bone, thinning of the trabecular structure, osteophytes, bone marrow lesions and sclerosis of the subchondral plate. In addition, a range of investigations has described secondary positive effects on cartilage health when bone resorption was suppressed, or deterioration of the cartilage when resorption is increased.

CONCLUSION:
An optimal treatment for OA might include targeting both the bone and cartilage compartments. Hence, as several cell systems are to be targeted in a safe manner, limited options seem possible.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
31. Aug 2008

Characterization of metalloprotease cleavage products of human articular cartilage

OBJECTIVE:
To identify, characterize, and compare proteolysis peptide products generated by metalloprotease digests of human articular cartilage.

METHODS:
Human articular cartilage was digested by the addition of exogenous metalloproteases, including matrix metalloproteinases 2, 3, 8, 9, 12, and 13 and aggrecanases ADAMTS-4 and ADAMTS-5. Proteolyzed peptide products were identified by proteomics methods using mass spectrometry.

RESULTS:
Complete sequences of the peptides proteolyzed from human articular cartilage, including N- and C-termini and hydroxylated posttranslational modifications, were determined. A wide variety of peptides, originating from types I, II, and III collagen, biglycan, prolargin, fibromodulin, fibronectin, decorin, cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, cartilage intermediate-layer protein, megakaryocyte-stimulating factor, mimecan, aggrecan, and lumican, was analyzed following metalloprotease digestion. Release of peptides varied as a function of time, enzyme specificity, and abundance. Specific type II collagen peptide biomarkers, including those containing the three-quarter-length fragment cleavage site and those containing the domains for helical peptide of type II collagen and C-telopeptide of type II collagen, were observed after release by selected proteases.

CONCLUSION:
The use of intact cartilage instead of purified protein substrates in the assay allowed for the identification of novel potential substrates and cleavage sites for individual enzymes under more physiologically relevant conditions. Characterization of these cartilage matrix peptides may help in the development of pharmacodynamic biomarkers of cartilage degradation, and also may contribute to an understanding of the bioactive peptides important in chondrocyte signaling.

Bone
5. Nov 2013

Lentiviral gene transfer of TCIRG1 into peripheral blood CD34(+) cells restores osteoclast function in infantile malignant osteopetrosis

nfantile malignant osteopetrosis (IMO) is a rare, lethal, autosomal recessive disorder characterized by non-functional osteoclasts. More than 50% of the patients have mutations in the TCIRG1 gene, encoding for a subunit of the osteoclast proton pump. The aim of this study was to restore the resorptive function of IMO osteoclasts by lentiviral mediated gene transfer of the TCIRG1 cDNA. CD34(+) cells from peripheral blood of five IMO patients and from normal cord blood were transduced with lentiviral vectors expressing TCIRG1 and GFP under a SFFV promoter, expanded in culture and differentiated on bone slices to mature osteoclasts. qPCR analysis and western blot revealed increased mRNA and protein levels of TCIRG1, comparable to controls. Vector corrected IMO osteoclasts generated increased release of Ca(2+) and bone degradation product CTX-I into the media as well as increased formation of resorption pits in the bone slices, while non-corrected IMO osteoclasts failed to resorb bone. Resorption was approximately 70-80% of that of osteoclasts generated from cord blood. Furthermore, transduced CD34(+) cells successfully engrafted in NSG-mice. In conclusion we provide the first evidence of lentiviral-mediated correction of a human genetic disease affecting the osteoclastic lineage.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Oct 2007

Osteoarthritic cartilage is more homogeneous than healthy cartilage: identification of a superior region of interest colocalized with a major risk factor for osteoarthritis

RATIONALE AND OBJECTIVES:
Cartilage loss as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or joint space narrowing as determined by x-ray is the result of cartilage erosion. However, metabolic processes within the cartilage that later result in cartilage loss may be a more sensitive assessment method for early changes. Recently, it was shown that cartilage homogeneity visualized by MRI representing the biochemical changes undergoing in the cartilage is a potential marker for early detection of knee osteoarthritis (OA) and is also able to significantly separate groups of healthy subjects from those with OA. The purpose of this study was twofold. First, we wished to evaluate whether the results on cartilage homogeneity from the previous study can be reproduced using an independent population. Second, based on the homogeneity framework, we present an automatic technique that partitions the region of interest in the cartilage that contributes most to discrimination between healthy and OA subjects and allows for identification of the most implicated areas in early OA. These findings may allow further investigation of whether cartilage homogeneity reveals a predisposition for OA or whether it evolves as a consequence to disease and thereby can be used as a progression biomarker.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
A total of 283 right and left knees from 159 subjects aged 21 to 81 years were scanned using a Turbo 3D T1 sequence on a 0.18-T MRI Esaote scanner. The medial compartment of the tibial cartilage sheet was segmented using a fully automatic voxel classification scheme based on supervised learning. From the segmented cartilage sheet, homogeneity was quantified by measuring entropy from the distribution of signal intensities inside the compartment. Each knee was examined by radiography, and the knees were categorized by the Kellgren and Lawrence (KL) Index. Next, based on a gradient descent optimization technique, the cartilage region that contributed to the maximum statistical significance of homogeneity in separating healthy subjects from the diseased was partitioned. The generalizability of the region was evaluated by testing for overfitting. Three different regularization techniques were evaluated for reducing overfitting errors.

RESULTS:
The P values for separating the different groups based on cartilage homogeneity were 2 x 10(-5) (KL 0 versus KL 1) and 1 x 10(-7) (KL 0 versus KL >0). Using the automatic gradient descent technique, the partitioned region was toward the peripheral part of the cartilage sheet. Using this region, the P values for separating the different groups based on homogeneity were 5 x 10(-9) (KL 0 versus KL 1) and 1 x 10(-15) (KL 0 versus KL >0). The precision of homogeneity for the partitioned region assessed as a test-retest root-mean-square coefficient of variation was 3.3%. Bootstrapping proved to be an effective regularization tool in reducing overfitting errors.

CONCLUSION:
The validation study supported the use of cartilage homogeneity as a tool for the early detection of knee OA and for separating groups of healthy subjects from those who have disease. Our automatic, unbiased partitioning algorithm based on a general statistical framework outlined the cartilage region of interest that best separated healthy from OA conditions on the basis of homogeneity discrimination. We have shown that OA affects certain areas of the cartilage more distinctly, and these areas are located more toward the peripheral region of the cartilage. We propose that this region corresponds anatomically to cartilage covered by the meniscus in healthy subjects. This finding may provide valuable clues in the early detection and monitoring of OA and thus may improve treatment efficacy.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
6. Jun 2008

Automatic quantification of local and global articular cartilage surface curvature: biomarkers for osteoarthritis

The objective of this study was to quantitatively assess the surface curvature of the articular cartilage from low-field magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, and to investigate its role in populations with varying radiographic signs of osteoarthritis (OA), cross-sectionally and longitudinally. The curvature of the articular surface of the medial tibial compartment was estimated both on fine and coarse scales using two different automatic methods which are both developed from an automatic 3D segmentation algorithm. Cross-sectionally (n=288), the surface curvature for both the fine- and coarse-scale estimates were significantly higher in the OA population compared with the healthy population, with P<0.001 and P<<0.001, respectively. For the longitudinal study (n=245), there was a significant increase in fine-scale curvature for healthy and borderline OA populations (P<0.001), and in coarse-scale curvature for severe OA populations (P<0.05). Fine-scale curvature could predict progressors using the estimates of those healthy at baseline (P<0.001). The inter-scan precision was 2.2 and 6.5 (mean CV) for the fine- and coarse scale curvature measures, respectively. The results showed that quantitative curvature estimates from low-field MRI at different scales could potentially become biomarkers targeted at different stages of OA.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
8. May 2008

Cartilage degradation is fully reversible in the presence of aggrecanase but not matrix metalloproteinase activity

INTRODUCTION:
Physiological and pathophysiological cartilage turnover may coexist in articular cartilage. The distinct enzymatic processes leading to irreversible cartilage damage, compared with those needed for continuous self-repair and regeneration, remain to be identified. We investigated the capacity of repair of chondrocytes by analyzing their ability to initiate an anabolic response subsequent to three different levels of catabolic stimulation.

METHODS:
Cartilage degradation was induced by oncostatin M and tumour necrosis factor in articular cartilage explants for 7, 11, or 17 days. The catabolic period was followed by 2 weeks of anabolic stimulation (insulin growth factor-I). Cartilage formation was assessed by collagen type II formation (PIINP). Cartilage degradation was measured by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) mediated type II collagen degradation (CTX-II), and MMP and aggrecanase mediated aggrecan degradation by detecting the 342FFGVG and 374ARGSV neoepitopes. Proteoglycan turnover, content, and localization were assessed by Alcian blue.

RESULTS:
Catabolic stimulation resulted in increased levels of cartilage degradation, with maximal levels of 374ARGSV (20-fold induction), CTX-II (150-fold induction), and 342FFGVG (30-fold induction) (P < 0.01). Highly distinct protease activities were found with aggrecanase-mediated aggrecan degradation at early stages, whereas MMP-mediated aggrecan and collagen degradation occurred during later stages. Anabolic treatment increased proteoglycan content at all time points (maximally, 250%; P < 0.001). By histology, we found a complete replenishment of glycosaminoglycan at early time points and pericellular localization at an intermediate time point. In contrast, only significantly increased collagen type II formation (200%; P < 0.01) was observed at early time points.

CONCLUSION:
Cartilage degradation was completely reversible in the presence of high levels of aggrecanase-mediated aggrecan degradation. After induction of MMP-mediated aggrecan and collagen type II degradation, the chondrocytes had impaired repair capacity.

Bone
15. Feb 2000

Proteinases in bone resorption: obvious and less obvious roles.

Abstract
Bone resorption is critical for the development and the maintenance of the skeleton, and improper regulation of bone resorption leads to pathological situations. Proteinases are necessary for this process. In this review, we show that this need of proteinases is not only because they are required for the solubilization of bone matrix, but also because they are key components of the mechanism that determines where and when bone resorption will be initiated. Moreover, there are indications that proteinases may also determine whether resorption will be followed by bone formation. Some of the proteinases involved in these different steps of the resorption processes were recently identified, as for instance cathepsin K, MMP-9 (gelatinase B), and interstitial collagenase. However, there is also increasing evidence showing that the critical proteinase(s) may vary depending on the bone type or on other factors.

Bone
19. Oct 2001

Transforming growth factor-beta-induced osteoblast elongation regulates osteoclastic bone resorption through a p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase- and matrix metalloproteinase-dependent pathway

Abstract

Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a powerful modulator of bone metabolism, and both its anabolic and catabolic effects on bone have been described. Here we have tested the hypothesis that TGF-beta-induced changes in osteoblast shape promote bone resorption by increasing the surface area of bone that is accessible to osteoclasts. The addition of TGF-beta1 to MC3T3-E1 cells resulted in cytoskeletal reorganization, augmented expression of focal adhesion kinase, and cell elongation, accompanied by an increase in the area of cell-free substratum. TGF-beta1 also triggered activation of Erk1/2 and p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase. The p38 MAP kinase inhibitor PD169316, but not an inhibitor of the Erk1/2 pathway, abrogated the effect of TGF-beta1 on cell shape. The matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor GM6001 also interfered with osteoblast elongation. Treatment of MC3T3-E1 cells seeded at confluence onto bone slices to mimic a bone lining cell layer with TGF-beta1 also induced cell elongation and increased pit formation by subsequently added osteoclasts. These effects were again blocked by PD169316 and GM6001. We propose that this novel pathway regulating osteoblast morphology plays an important role in the catabolic effects of TGF-beta on bone metabolism

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Jul 2006

Calcitonin is involved in cartilage homeostasis: is calcitonin a treatment for OA?

Abstract
OBJECTIVE:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of degenerative joint diseases and a major cause of disability and impaired quality of life in the elderly. Recent observations suggest that calcitonin may act on both osteoclasts and chondrocytes. The present review was sought to summarize emerging observations from the molecular level to the preliminary clinical findings of possible chondroprotective effects of calcitonin.

METHOD:
This review summarizes peer-reviewed articles found using pre-defined search criteria and published in the PubMed database before January 2006. In addition, abstracts from the OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) conferences in the time period 2000-2005 have been included in the search.

RESULTS:
Ample evidence for the effect of calcitonin on bone resorption was found. Support for direct effects of calcitonin on chondrocytes on matrix synthesis and inhibition of cartilage degradation have been published. In addition, clinical evidence for the effect of calcitonin on cartilage degradation is emerging.

CONCLUSION:
Several independent lines of evidence suggest a direct chondroprotective effect of calcitonin in addition to the well-established effect on bone resorption. Given the currently limited availability of chondroprotective agents, much expectation regards the ongoing clinical assessment of calcitonin therapy for the prevention and treatment of OA.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Feb 2007

MMP and non-MMP-mediated release of aggrecan and its fragments from articular cartilage: a comparative study of three different aggrecan and glycosaminoglycan assays

Aggrecan is the major proteoglycan in articular cartilage and is known to be degraded by various proteases, including matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The present study was undertaken to develop immunoassays detecting aggrecan and its fragments generated by MMP and non-MMP-mediated proteolysis.

METHODS:
Two immunoassays were developed: (1) the G1/G2 sandwich assay employing a monoclonal antibody (F-78) both as a capturing and a detecting antibody, and (2) the 342-G2 sandwich assay substituting the capturing antibody in the G1/G2 test with a monoclonal antibody, AF-28 recognizing the 342FFGVG neo-epitope generated by MMP cleavage. These assays were compared to the commercially available glycosaminoglycan (GAG) assay.

RESULTS:
In supernatants of Oncostatin M and Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (OSM/TNFalpha) stimulated explants, high levels of G1/G2 fragments and GAGs were released in the initial phase (days 2-5), followed by low levels in the intermediate (days 9-12) and late phase (days 12-21). MMP-generated fragments were detected in the late phase only. In the presence of the general MMP inhibitor GM6001, 342-G2 was not detected, whereas the G1/G2 profile remained virtually unchanged. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), the release of G1/G2 molecules was decreased (27.3%), and that of the 342-G2 fragments increased compared to healthy controls (33.3%).

CONCLUSION:
The stimulation of bovine articular cartilage explants with OSM/TNFalpha released aggrecan fragments both in an MMP and non-MMP-mediated route. These immunoassays carry a potential as diagnostic tools for the quantitative assessment of the cartilage turnover in RA patients in addition to their utility in ex vivo explant cultures.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Mar 2007

Anabolic and catabolic function of chondrocyte ex vivo is reflected by the metabolic processing of type II collagen.

The aim of the present study was to investigate collagen metabolism after anabolic and catabolic stimulation of chondrocytes ex vivo.

DESIGN:
Metabolic activities in ex vivo bovine cartilage explants were stimulated with insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) or a combination of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and oncostatin M (OSM). Supernatants were assessed for changes in biochemical markers, N-terminal propeptide of type II (PIINP) collagen and fragments of C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II). Matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) were added to metabolic inactivated cartilage and evaluated by the two biochemical markers for formation or degradation, respectively. Finally, urinary CTX-II and PIINP were evaluated for assessment of type II collagen turnover in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

RESULTS:
In the bovine articular cartilage explants, IGF-I induced an increase in PIINP level up to 4.8+/-1.1[ng/ml]/mg cartilage whereas CTX-II remained below 0.1+/-0.1[ng/ml]/mg cartilage. In the catabolic stimulated explants both PIINP and CTX-II were released to the supernatant, reaching concentrations of 9.0+/-1.4 and 9.1+/-2.2[ng/ml]/mg cartilage, respectively. RA patients had significantly lower serum concentrations of PIINP (3.4+/-3.7 ng/ml) compared with those healthy individuals (18.7+/-12.41 ng/ml, P<0.001). In contrast, RA patients had significantly higher urinary CTX-II (0.8+/-0.8 mg/mmol) compared to the healthy controls (0.1+/-0.08 mg/mmol, P=0.004).

CONCLUSIONS:
This study is the first to demonstrate that precursors and degradation products of type II collagen released into the supernatant can effectively reflect the anabolic and catabolic activities of stimulated cartilage explants.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
10. May 2007

Separation of healthy and early osteoarthritis by automatic quantification of cartilage homogeneity.

OBJECTIVE:
Cartilage loss as determined either by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or by joint space narrowing in X-rays is the result of cartilage erosion. However, metabolic processes within the cartilage that later result in cartilage loss may be a more accurate assessment method for early changes. Early biological processes of cartilage destruction are among other things, a combination of proteoglycan turnover, as a result of altered charge distributions, and local alterations in water content (edema). As water distribution is detectable by MRI, the aim of this study was to investigate cartilage homogeneity visualized by MRI related to water distribution, as a potential very early marker for early detection of knee osteoarthritis (OA).

DESIGN:
One hundred and fourteen right and left knees from 71 subjects aged 22-79 years were scanned using a Turbo 3D T(1) sequence on a 0.18T MRI Esaote scanner. The medial compartment of the tibial cartilage sheet was segmented using a fully automatic voxel classification scheme based on supervised learning. From the segmented cartilage sheet, homogeneity was quantified by measuring entropy from the distribution of signal intensities inside the compartment. For each knee an X-ray was acquired and the knees were categorized by the Kellgren and Lawrence (KL) index and the joint space width (JSW) was measured. The P-values for separating the groups by each of JSW, cartilage volume, cartilage mean intensity, and cartilage homogeneity were calculated using the unpaired t-test.

RESULTS:
The P-value for separating the group diagnosed as KL 0 from the group being KL 1 based on JSW, volume and mean signal intensity the values were P=0.9, P=0.4 and P=0.0009, respectively. In contrast, the P-value for homogeneity was P=0.0004. The precision of the measures assessed, as a test-retest root mean square coefficient of variation (RMS-CV%) was 3.9% for JSW, 7.4% for volume, 3.9% for mean signal intensity and 3.0% for homogeneity quantification.

CONCLUSION:
These data demonstrate that the distribution of components of the articular matrix precedes erosion, as measured by cartilage homogeneity related to water concentration. We show that homogeneity was able to separate early OA from healthy individuals in contrast to traditional volume and JSW quantifications. These data suggest that cartilage homogeneity quantification may be able to quantify early biochemical changes in articular cartilage prior to cartilage loss and thereby provide better identification of patients for OA trials who may respond better to medicinal intervention of some treatments. In addition, this study supports the feasibility of using low-field MRI in clinical studies

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
20. May 2007

Induction of increased cAMP levels in articular chondrocytes blocks matrix metalloproteinase-mediated cartilage degradation, but not aggrecanase-mediated cartilage degradation

OBJECTIVE:
Calcitonin has been suggested to have chondroprotective effects. One signaling pathway of calcitonin is via the second messenger cAMP. We undertook this study to investigate whether increased cAMP levels in chondrocytes would be chondroprotective.

METHODS:
Cartilage degradation was induced in bovine articular cartilage explants by 10 ng/ml oncostatin M (OSM) and 20 ng/ml tumor necrosis factor (TNF). In these cultures, cAMP levels were augmented by treatment with either forskolin (4, 16, or 64 microM) or 3-isobutyl-1-methyl xanthine (IBMX; 4, 16, or 64 microM). Cartilage degradation was assessed by 1) quantification of C-terminal crosslinking telopeptide of type II collagen fragments (CTX-II), 2) matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-mediated aggrecan degradation by (342)FFGV- G2 assay, 3) aggrecanase-mediated degradation by (374)ARGS-G2 assay, 4) release of sulfated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) into culture medium, 5) immunohistochemistry with a monoclonal antibody recognizing the CTX-II epitope, and 6) toluidine blue staining of proteoglycans. MMP expression and activity were assessed by gelatin zymography.

RESULTS:
OSM and TNF induced an 8,000% increase in CTX-II compared with control (P < 0.001). Both forskolin and IBMX dose-dependently inhibited release of CTX-II (P < 0.001). OSM and TNF induced a 6-fold increase in (342)FFGV-G2, which was abrogated by forskolin and IBMX (by >80%). OSM and TNF stimulated MMP expression as visualized by zymography, and MMP expression was dose-dependently inhibited by forskolin and IBMX. The highest concentration of IBMX lowered cytokine-induced release of sGAG by 72%.

CONCLUSION:
Levels of cAMP in chondrocytes play a key role in controlling catabolic activity. Increased cAMP levels in chondrocytes inhibited MMP expression and activity and consequently strongly inhibited cartilage degradation. Specific cAMP modulators in chondrocytes may be potential treatments for cartilage degenerative diseases.

Oncology, Bone
25. Dec 2006

Biochemical approach to the detection and monitoring of metastatic bone disease: What do we know and what questions need answers?

Metastatic spread to bones frequently occurs in several types of cancer diseases, in particular breast, prostate, and lung cancer. Infiltration of bone by tumour cells is a source of several complications including severe bone pain, spinal cord compression, hypercalcemia, pathologic fractures, all reducing quality of life and worsening prognosis. Therefore, early recognition of bone metastases is among the highest priorities in the clinical management of cancer disease. Currently, detection and staging relies on radiological imaging techniques (scintigraphy, radiography, computer tomography, etc.). Due to their limited sensitivity and/or inconveniences, irradiation, and considerable costs related to serial use, they are not suited for close monitoring of cancer patients to capture skeletal spread in an early stage or to follow-up on therapeutical responses. Interaction of tumour cells with surrounding bone cells leads to enhanced bone resorption and/or bone formation. These cellular processes result in the release of numerous epitopes that, if detected by immunoassays, can reflect the changes of the rate of bone turnover and the occurrence of metastatic spread to bone. Numerous studies reported elevated levels of bone turnover markers in patients with bone metastases proportionally to the extent of skeletal involvement. Furthermore, preliminary data suggest that biomarkers can predict skeletal-related events (SREs), disease progression, and even cancer-related death. The present review intends to summarize the list of emerged biomarkers, major studies assessing their relative utility for detection of bone metastases in different types of cancer disease, and discuss their potentials for becoming part of screening protocols for improving our success rate in the early detection of metastatic bone disease.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
24. Jul 2009

Identification of progressors in osteoarthritis by combining biochemical and MRI-based markers

Abstract
INTRODUCTION:
At present, no disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs (DMOADS) are approved by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration); possibly partly due to inadequate trial design since efficacy demonstration requires disease progression in the placebo group. We investigated whether combinations of biochemical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based markers provided effective diagnostic and prognostic tools for identifying subjects with high risk of progression. Specifically, we investigated aggregate cartilage longevity markers combining markers of breakdown, quantity, and quality.

METHODS:
The study included healthy individuals and subjects with radiographic osteoarthritis. In total, 159 subjects (48% female, age 56.0 +/- 15.9 years, body mass index 26.1 +/- 4.2 kg/m2) were recruited. At baseline and after 21 months, biochemical (urinary collagen type II C-telopeptide fragment, CTX-II) and MRI-based markers were quantified. MRI markers included cartilage volume, thickness, area, roughness, homogeneity, and curvature in the medial tibio-femoral compartment. Joint space width was measured from radiographs and at 21 months to assess progression of joint damage.

RESULTS:
Cartilage roughness had the highest diagnostic accuracy quantified as the area under the receiver-operator characteristics curve (AUC) of 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.69 to 0.91) among the individual markers (higher than all others, P < 0.05) to distinguish subjects with radiographic osteoarthritis from healthy controls. Diagnostically, cartilage longevity scored AUC 0.84 (0.77 to 0.92, higher than roughness: P = 0.03). For prediction of longitudinal radiographic progression based on baseline marker values, the individual prognostic marker with highest AUC was homogeneity at 0.71 (0.56 to 0.81). Prognostically, cartilage longevity scored AUC 0.77 (0.62 to 0.90, borderline higher than homogeneity: P = 0.12). When comparing patients in the highest quartile for the longevity score to lowest quartile, the odds ratio of progression was 20.0 (95% confidence interval: 6.4 to 62.1).

CONCLUSIONS:
Combination of biochemical and MRI-based biomarkers improved diagnosis and prognosis of knee osteoarthritis and may be useful to select high-risk patients for inclusion in DMOAD clinical trials.

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
18. Jan 2002

Matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor BB-3103 unlike the serine proteinase inhibitor aprotinin abrogates epidermal healing of human skin wounds ex vivo.

Several matrix metalloproteinases and serine proteinases are upregulated in migrating keratinocytes during cutaneous wound repair. Single cell culture studies indicate the necessity for matrix metalloproteinases but not for serine proteinases in keratinocyte locomotion. To account for epithelial-mesenchymal interactions, an ex vivo human skin wound model was used to investigate the contribution of matrix metalloproteinases and serine proteinases to wound healing by treatment with broad-spectrum inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (BB-3103) or serine proteinases (aprotinin). Human skin explants with circular 3 mm superficial defects were incubated in culture medium without (controls) or with the proteinase inhibitors for 7 d. BB-3103 abrogated epithelialization (p < 0.001), whereas aprotinin-treated wounds and controls were covered with new epithelium. Lack of epithelialization was unlikely due to cytotoxicity because the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor did neither influence viability of cultured epidermal keratinocytes nor apoptosis in wounds. Involvement of specific matrix metalloproteinases in epithelialization was analyzed by gelatin zymography, western blotting, immunohistochemistry, and in situ hybridization. Wound healing was accompanied by active matrix metalloproteinase-1 and increased active matrix metalloproteinase-2 but irrespectively of active matrix metalloproteinase-9. BB-3103 blocked activation of matrix metalloproteinase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase-9 but not of matrix metalloproteinase-1. Active matrix metalloproteinase-2 localized solely to the dermis, whereas matrix metalloproteinase-9 was consistently found in new epithelium. Membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase was undetectable in wound keratinocytes. BB-3103 and aprotinin reduced tumor necrosis factor-alpha in media but did not appreciably alter amounts of other soluble regulators of matrix metalloproteinases and epithelialization. Our findings demonstrate that keratinocyte migration is associated with active matrix metalloproteinase-2 but occurs independently of serine proteinases and active matrix metalloproteinase-9 in fibrin-deficient skin wound healing.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Jul 2005

The clinical potential of estrogen for the prevention of osteoarthritis: what is known and what needs to be done?

Osteoarthritis (OA) remains a major epidemiological problem worldwide. The lack of established chondroprotective agents limits the clinical management of this disease to relief of symptoms, such as pain and joint stiffness. The marked increase in the prevalence and incidence of OA among women after the menopause draws attention to the possible contribution of estrogen deficiency to acceleration of cartilage degradation. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) seems to counter the adverse influence of ovariectomy on the progression of joint lesions in various animal models, including nonhuman primates. Although decreases in the risk of OA associated with long-term HRT were repeatedly observed in large-scale epidemiological studies, the chondroprotective potential of this therapeutic option has received modest recognition among healthcare professionals. The overall diversity of results hampering our ability to draw conclusions at the present time arises from the diversity of methodological approaches and selected outcome measures of OA. Randomized clinical trials using state-of-the-art methodology, such as high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging that allows direct visualization and morphometric characterization of articular cartilage and biochemical markers of cartilage turnover that can provide early indication of therapeutic effects, are awaited to obtain evidence-based answers to the utility of estrogen in the prevention of OA

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
21. Jan 2013

Atherofibrosis - a unique and common process of the disease pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and fibrosis - lessons for biomarker development.

The hallmark of a variety of fibrotic diseases such as liver fibrosis, lung fibrosis, skin fibrosis and atherosclerosis is extensive extracellular matrix remodeling (ECMr) of the disease affected tissue. Inflammation often leads to tissue disruption and destruction, upon which locally released battery of proteases such as matrix metalloproteinases and cysteine proteases degrade the surrounding matrix. The degradation products of ECM proteins, the co-called neoepitopes, are released into the systemic circulation. By recent development of Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assays (ELISAs) detecting the pathological tissue turnover in atherosclerosis and liver fibrosis, we have introduced a novel class of biomarkers into the field of fibrotic diseases, which have been proved efficient in the early diagnosis. This work has resulted in identification of common mechanisms involving specific cell types, proteins and proteases as well as pathways shared among the fibrotic diseases. In this analysis we seek to answer following questions: a) Are there common disease mechanisms and cell types involved in both atherosclerosis and fibrosis? b) Can the lessons learned in developing fibrosis biomarkers be used for the development of atherosclerosis biomarkers? Our hypothesis is that by answering the above questions, we may be able to improve general understanding of the early-stage disease initiation and progression of fibrotic diseases, which in turn may aid in early diagnosis, prognosis and ultimately patient management.

Bone, Osteoporosis
28. Oct 2012

Recommendations on the management of fragility fracture risk in women younger than 70 years

The risk for fragility fracture represents a problem of enormous magnitude. It is estimated that only a small fraction of women with this risk take the benefit of preventive measures. The relationship between estrogen and bone mass is well known as they are the other factors related to the risk for fracture. There are precise diagnostic methods, including a tool to diagnose the risk for fracture. Yet there continues to be an under-diagnosis, with the unrecoverable delay in instituting preventive measures. Women under the age of 70 years, being much more numerous than those older, and having risk factors, are a group in which it is essential to avoid that first fragility fracture. Today it is usual not to differentiate between the treatment and the prevention of osteoporosis since the common aim is to prevent fragility fractures. Included in this are women with osteoporosis or with low bone mass and increased risk for fracture, for whom risk factors play a primary role. There is clearly controversy over the type of treatment and its duration, especially given the possible adverse effects of long-term use. This justifies the concept of sequential treatment, even more so in women under the age of 70, since they presumably will need treatment for many years. Bone metabolism is age-dependent. In postmenopausal women under 70 years of age, the increase in bone resorption is clearly predominant, related to a sharp drop in estrogens. Thus a logical treatment is the prevention of fragility fractures by hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and, in asymptomatic women, selective estradiol receptor modulators (SERMs). Afterwards, there is a period of greater resorption, albeit less intense but continuous, when one could utilise anti-resorptive treatments such as bisphosphonates or denosumab or a dual agent like strontium ranelate. Bone formation treatment, such as parathyroid hormone (PTH), in women under 70 years will be uncommon. That is because it should be used in cases where the formation is greatly diminished and there is a high risk for fracture, something found in much older women

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
10. May 2012

Novel cardiac-specific biomarkers and the cardiovascular continuum

The concept of the cardiovascular continuum, introduced during the early 1990s, created a holistic view of the chain of events connecting cardiovascular-related risk factors with the progressive development of pathological-related tissue remodelling and ultimately, heart failure and death. Understanding of the tissue-specific changes, and new technologies developed over the last 25-30 years, enabled tissue remodelling events to be monitored in vivo and cardiovascular disease to be diagnosed more reliably than before. The tangible product of this evolution was the introduction of a number of biochemical markers such as troponin I and T, which are now commonly used in clinics to measure myocardial damage. However, biomarkers that can detect specific earlier stages of the cardiovascular continuum have yet to be generated and utilised. The majority of the existing markers are useful only in the end stages of the disease where few successful intervention options exist. Since a large number of patients experience a transient underlying developing pathology long before the signs or symptoms of cardiovascular disease become apparent, the requirement for new markers that can describe the early tissue-specific, matrix remodelling process which ultimately leads to disease is evident. This review highlights the importance of relating cardiac biochemical markers with specific time points along the cardiovascular continuum, especially during the early transient phase of pathology progression where none of the existing markers aid diagnosis

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
12. Nov 2013

Value of biomarkers in osteoarthritis: current status and perspectives

Osteoarthritis affects the whole joint structure with progressive changes in cartilage, menisci, ligaments and subchondral bone, and synovial inflammation. Biomarkers are being developed to quantify joint remodelling and disease progression. This article was prepared following a working meeting of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis convened to discuss the value of biochemical markers of matrix metabolism in drug development in osteoarthritis. The best candidates are generally molecules or molecular fragments present in cartilage, bone or synovium and may be specific to one type of joint tissue or common to them all. Many currently investigated biomarkers are associated with collagen metabolism in cartilage or bone, or aggrecan metabolism in cartilage. Other biomarkers are related to non-collagenous proteins, inflammation and/or fibrosis. Biomarkers in osteoarthritis can be categorised using the burden of disease, investigative, prognostic, efficacy of intervention, diagnostic and safety classification. There are a number of promising candidates, notably urinary C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type II and serum cartilage oligomeric protein, although none is sufficiently discriminating to differentiate between individual patients and controls (diagnostic) or between patients with different disease severities (burden of disease), predict prognosis in individuals with or without osteoarthritis (prognostic) or perform so consistently that it could function as a surrogate outcome in clinical trials (efficacy of intervention). Future avenues for research include exploration of underlying mechanisms of disease and development of new biomarkers; technological development; the 'omics' (genomics, metabolomics, proteomics and lipidomics); design of aggregate scores combining a panel of biomarkers and/or imaging markers into single diagnostic algorithms; and investigation into the relationship between biomarkers and prognosis

Oncology, Breast
8. Apr 2014

Mammographic texture resemblance generalizes as an independent risk factor for breast cancer

Breast density has been established as a major risk factor for breast cancer. We have previously demonstrated that mammographic texture resemblance (MTR), recognizing the local texture patterns of the mammogram, is also a risk factor for breast cancer, independent of percent breast density. We examine if these findings generalize to another population.

METHODS:
Texture patterns were recorded in digitalized pre-diagnosis (3.7 years) film mammograms of a nested case-control study within the Dutch screening program (S1) comprising of 245 breast cancers and 250 matched controls. The patterns were recognized in the same study using cross-validation to form resemblance scores associated with breast cancer. Texture patterns from S1 were examined in an independent nested case-control study within the Mayo Mammography Health Study cohort (S2) of 226 cases and 442 matched controls: mammograms on average 8.5 years prior to diagnosis, risk factor information and percent mammographic density (PD) estimated using Cumulus were available. MTR scores estimated from S1, S2 and S1 + S2 (the latter two as cross-validations) were evaluated in S2. MTR scores were analyzed as both quartiles and continuously for association with breast cancer using odds ratios (OR) and adjusting for known risk factors including age, body mass index (BMI), and hormone usage.

RESULTS:
The mean ages of S1 and S2 were 58.0 ± 5.7 years and 55.2 ± 10.5 years, respectively. The MTR scores on S1 showed significant capability to discriminate cancers from controls (area under the operator characteristics curve (AUC) = 0.63 ± 0.02, P <0.001), which persisted after adjustment for PD. S2 showed an AUC of 0.63, 0.61, and 0.60 based on PD, MTR scores trained on S2, and MTR scores trained on S1, respectively. When adjusted for PD, MTR scores of S2 trained on S1 showed an association with breast cancer for the highest quartile alone: OR in quartiles of controls as reference; 1.04 (0.59 to 1.81); 0.95 (0.52 to 1.74); 1.84 (1.10 to 3.07) respectively. The combined continuous model with both PD and MTR scores based on S1 had an AUC of 0.66 ± 0.03.

CONCLUSIONS:
The local texture patterns associated with breast cancer risk in S1 were also an independent risk factor in S2. Additional textures identified in S2 did not significantly improve risk segregation. Hence, the textural patterns that indicated elevated risk persisted under differences in X-ray technology, population demographics, follow-up time and geography.

Bone, Osteoporosis
18. Nov 2008

Tibolone inhibits bone resorption without secondary positive effects on cartilage degradation

BACKGROUND:
Osteoarthritis is associated with increased bone resorption and increased cartilage degradation in the subchondral bone and joint. The objective of the present study was to determine whether Tibolone, a synthetic steroid with estrogenic, androgenic, and progestogenic properties, would have similar dual actions on both bone and cartilage turnover, as reported previously with some SERMS and HRT.

METHODS:
This study was a secondary analysis of ninety-one healthy postmenopausal women aged 52-75 yrs entered a 2-yr double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of treatment with either 1.25 mg/day (n = 36), or 2.5 mg/day Tibolone (n = 35), or placebo (n = 20), (J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1996 Jul;81(7):2419-22) Second void morning urine samples were collected at baseline, and at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months. Urine CrossLaps ELISA (CTX-I) and Urine CartiLaps ELISA (CTX-II) was investigated as markers of bone resorption and cartilage degradation, respectively.

RESULTS:
Tibolone significantly (P < 0.001) suppressed bone resorption by approximately 60%. In contrast, no effect was observed on cartilage degradation.

CONCLUSION:
These data suggest uncoupling of the bone and cartilage effects of the synthetic steroid, Tibolone. Bone resorption was significantly decreased, whereas cartilage degradation was unchanged. These effects are in contrast to those observed some SERMs with effects on both bone and cartilage degradation. These effects may in part be described by the complicated pharmacology of Tibolone on testosterone, estrogen and progesterone receptors

Bone
15. Aug 2010

Severe developmental bone phenotype in ClC-7 deficient mice

Bone development is dependent on the functionality of three essential cell types: chondrocytes, osteoclasts and osteoblasts. If any of these cell types is dysfunctional, a developmental bone phenotype can result. The bone disease osteopetrosis is caused by osteoclast dysfunction or impaired osteoclastogenesis, leading to increased bone mass. In ClC-7 deficient mice, which display severe osteopetrosis, the osteoclast malfunction is due to abrogated acidification of the resorption lacuna. This study sought to investigate the consequences of osteoclast malfunction on bone development, bone structure and bone modeling/remodeling in ClC-7 deficient mice. Bones from wildtype, heterozygous and ClC-7 deficient mice were examined by bone histomorphometry and immunohistochemistry. ClC-7 deficient mice were found to have a severe developmental bone phenotype, characterized by dramatically increased bone mass, a high content of cartilage remnants, impaired longitudinal and radial growth, as well as lack of compact cortical bone development. Indices of bone formation were reduced in ClC-7 deficient mice; however, calcein labeling indicated that mineralization occurred on most trabecular bone surfaces. Osteoid deposition had great regional variance, but an osteopetrorickets phenotype, as observed in oc/oc mice, was not apparent in the ClC-7 deficient mice. A striking finding was the presence of very large abnormal osteoclasts, which filled the bone marrow space within the ClC-7 deficient bones. The development of these giant osteoclasts could be due to altered cell fate of the ClC-7 deficient osteoclasts, caused by increased cellular fusion and/or prolonged osteoclast survival. In summary, malfunctional ClC-7 deficient osteoclasts led to a severe developmental bone phenotype including abnormally large and non-functional osteoclasts. Bone formation paremeters were reduced; however, bone formation and mineralization were found to be heterogenous and continuing

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
17. Sep 2005

Oral salmon calcitonin induced suppression of urinary collagen type II degradation in postmenopausal women: a new potential treatment of osteoarthritis

OBJECTIVE:
To assess the efficacy of 3 months of oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) on cartilage degradation as estimated by the changes in the urinary excretion of C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type II (CTX-II), and to investigate whether the response of oral sCT to urinary CTX-II depends on the baseline level of cartilage turnover.

METHODS:
This was a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled clinical setting including 152 Danish postmenopausal women aged 55-85. The subjects received treatment with the different doses of sCT (0.15, 0.4, 1.0, or 2.5 mg) combined with Eligen technology-based carrier molecule (200 mg), or placebo for 3 months. The efficacy parameter was the changes in the 24-h excretion of urinary CTX-I/II corrected for creatinine excretion at month 3.

RESULTS:
sCT induced a significant dose-dependent decrease in 24-h urinary CTX-II excretion. Similar dose-dependent responses were found in 24-h urinary CTX-I. When stratifying the study population into tertiles of baseline urinary CTX-II, the present osteoarthritic symptoms and definite cases of osteoarthritis (OA) were significantly more frequent in women in the highest tertile of CTX-II (mean 391 +/- 18 ng/mmol). Women who received 1.0 mg of sCT and had the highest cartilage turnover presented the greatest decrease in urinary CTX-II after 3 months of treatment.

CONCLUSION:
In addition to its pronounced effect on bone resorption, this novel oral sCT formulation may also reduce cartilage degradation and thereby provide therapeutic benefit in terms of chondroprotection. Women with high cartilage turnover are more likely to benefit from oral sCT treatment

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Jul 2006

The utility of measuring C-terminal telopeptides of collagen type II (CTX-II) in serum and synovial fluid samples for estimation of articular cartilage status in experimental models of destructive joint diseases

OBJECTIVE:
To characterize and validate a novel, enzyme-linked immunoassay for measuring cross-linked dimer forms of C-terminal telopeptides of type II collagen (CTX-II) in serum and synovial fluid of rodents, and investigate whether CTX-II measurements can reflect joint status in two established animal models of destructive joint diseases.

METHODS:
Firstly, the specificity, in vivo validity, antigen recovery, and reproducibility of the assay were investigated. Secondly, we induced arthritis in rats using either bovine collagen type II or mono-iodoacetate. CTX-II levels were measured in the serum and synovial fluid of the affected femoro-tibial joint and correlated with microscopic severity of joint lesions as determined by validated scoring systems.

RESULTS:
The F4601 monoclonal antibody (mAb) is highly specific for the EKGPDP sequence at the CTX-II. Strong CTX-II signals were detected during enzymatic degradation of articular cartilage explants by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9 or MMP-13. The assay presented a good degree of precision and reproducibility (inter- and intra-assay CVs< 8.0%). In the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model, the assay indicated markedly increased levels of CTX-II in both the synovial fluid and the serum. Furthermore, CTX-II levels in both the synovial fluid (r = 0.76; P < 0.0001) and the serum (r = 0.85; P < 0.0001) showed strong correlations with the microscopic severity scores of joint lesions at Day 22. In the mono-iodoacetate-induced arthritis (MIA) model, CTX-II concentration in the synovial fluid (r = 0.53; P < 0.0001), but not in the serum, correlated with the microscopic severity score.

CONCLUSIONS:
The Preclinical CTX-II assay could provide a useful supplement to currently available methods for the non-invasive assessment of cartilage status. The utility of serum CTX-II to reflect joint status appeared to be limited to systemic forms of destructive joint diseases

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Aug 2007

The effect of oral calcitonin on cartilage turnover and surface erosion in an ovariectomized rat model

OBJECTIVE:
To investigate whether oral calcitonin treatment influences the increases in type II collagen (CII) degradation and related surface erosions of articular cartilage in ovariectomized rats.

METHODS:
Fifty rats were randomly allocated into 1 of the 5 following intervention groups: sham-operated, ovariectomy, ovariectomy plus subcutaneously implanted 17beta-estradiol pellet, ovariectomy plus 2 mg/kg salmon calcitonin plus 50 mg/kg 5CNAC (carrier), or ovariectomy plus 50 mg/kg 5CNAC. Each treatment was administered for 9 weeks after the ovariectomy. Blood samples for biochemical marker analysis were collected from fasting animals at baseline, on day 3, and after 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9 weeks. CII degradation was quantified by specific immunoassay, and the changes in severity scores of articular cartilage erosions were visualized and scored in histologic sections of the knees.

RESULTS:
Ovariectomy resulted in a marked increase in serum levels of C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II) (P < 0.001), which could be effectively reversed by 17beta-estradiol supplementation. Oral administration of calcitonin elicited similar decreases in serum levels of CTX-II (P < 0.001). Histologic scoring of cartilage erosion showed significantly less cartilage erosion in calcitonin-treated ovariectomized rats versus control ovariectomized rats that were untreated or treated with 5CNAC alone. (P < 0.01).

CONCLUSION:
The in vivo effects of calcitonin in rats suggest that calcitonin is able to counteract CII degradation and the accompanying structural disintegration of articular cartilage promoted by estrogen deficiency. Clinical assessment of the chondroprotective potential of calcitonin in postmenopausal women seems warranted

Bone
22. Apr 2014

Decline in calcitonin receptor expression in osteocytes with age

We have previously shown that co-administration of the transient osteoclast inhibitor, salmon calcitonin (sCT), blunts the anabolic effect of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in young rats and increases osteocytic expression of the bone formation inhibitor sclerostin (Sost). To determine whether this also occurs in adult animals, we co-administered sCT with PTH to 6-month-old sham-operated (SHAM) and ovariectomised (OVX) rats. While sCT reduced the stimulatory effect of PTH on serum amino-terminal propeptide of type 1 procollagen levels, in contrast to its influence in young rats, sCT did not reduce the anabolic effect of PTH on femoral bone mineral density, tibial trabecular bone volume or bone formation rate in 6-month-old SHAM or OVX rats. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of femoral metaphyses collected 1 and 4 h after a single PTH injection confirmed a significant increase in mRNA levels for interleukin 6 (Il6) and ephrinB2 (EfnB2), and a significant reduction in Sost and dentin matrix protein-1 (Dmp1) in response to PTH. However, in contrast to observations in young rats, these effects were not modified by co-administration of sCT, nor did sCT significantly modify Sost, Dmp1, or matrix extracellular phosphoglycoprotein (Mepe) mRNA levels. Furthermore, while CT receptor (CTR) mRNA (Calcr) was readily detected in GFP+ osteocytes isolated from young (3-week-old) DMP1-GFP mice, Calcr levels in osteocytes declined as mice aged, reaching levels that were undetectable in long bone at 49 weeks of age. These data indicate that osteocyte-mediated responses to CT are most likely to be of physiological relevance in young rodents

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
7. Nov 2007

Calcitonin affects both bone and cartilage: a dual action treatment for osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of degenerative joint diseases and a major cause of disability and impaired quality of life in the elderly. OA is a complex disease involving both bone and cartilage properties, and may therefore require alternative approaches for treatment. Recent lines of evidence suggest that calcitonin acts on both osteoclasts and chondrocytes. The review summarizes emerging observations from cell biology to preliminary clinical trials, describing possible chondroprotective effects of calcitonin. This review summarizes peer-reviewed articles found using predefined search criteria and published in the PubMed database before June 2007. In addition, abstracts from the OsteoArthritis Research Society International (OARSI) conferences in the time period 2000 to 2006 were included. A range of studies, at the cellular level, in animal models, and in clinical trials, describe positive effects of calcitonin on bone health. Regarding articular cartilage, direct effects of calcitonin on chondrocytes on matrix synthesis, as well as inhibition of cartilage degradation, have been presented. In addition, clinical evidence for a chondroprotective effect of calcitonin is emerging. Several lines of evidence suggest direct anabolic effects of calcitonin on articular chondrocytes, resulting in increased proteoglycan synthesis. The anticatabolic effects of calcitonin may involve induction of cAMP, resulting in attenuation of MMP-mediated cartilage degradation. Presently there is limited availability of chondroprotective agents. Therefore, the current clinical research on calcitonin is highly anticipated, and may prove calcitonin treatment efficacious for the prevention and treatment of OA

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
10. Feb 2016

CRP and a biomarker of type I collagen degradation, C1M, can differentiate anti-inflammatory treatment response in ankylosing spondylitis

AIM:
To investigate if tissue turnover biomarkers were efficacy biomarkers in ankylosing spondylitis and if the biomarkers at baseline predicted a good outcome (BASDAI50).

PATIENTS & METHODS:
Twenty-two etanercept treated ankylosing spondylitis patients were investigated for inflammation (CRP, ESR, CRPM) and tissue turnover (C1M, C2M, C3M) during the first year of treatment. Biomarkers profiles and treatment response were investigated.

RESULTS:
ESR, CRP, BASDAI and C1M were decreased with treatment (p ≤ 0.04). C1M and CRP segregated patients into two populations predicting treatment efficacy.

CONCLUSION:
C1M and CRP were efficacy biomarkers and baseline biomarkers could select who benefited (by biomarkers) from treatment. C1M was not superior to CRP, but the biomarkers evaluate different pathologic events, indicating that C1M and CRP identify different events.

KEYWORDS:
ankylosing spondylitis; extracellular matrix turnover; protein fingerprint biomarkers; segregation of patients at baseline; structural benefit assessed by serological biomarkers; treatment efficacy of etanercept

Rheumatology, Rheumatoid Arthritis
20. Jan 2016

Early changes in blood-based joint tissue destruction biomarkers are predictive of response to tocilizumab in the LITHE study

BACKGROUND:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterized by gradual joint destruction. Tocilizumab (TCZ) significantly suppresses symptoms, however not all patients are protected from joint damage. We investigated whether early measurement of specific biomarkers could predict early joint protection response to tocilizumab.

METHOD:
Serum biomarkers (CRPM, VICM, C1M, C2M, C3M (MMP-degraded CRP, vimentin type I, II and III collagen), CTX-I/OC (bone turnover), and CRP) were measured in 740 RA patients (the LITHE study) treated with Placebo, or 4 or 8 mg/kg TCZ. Early responders were those with ≥20 % improvement in SJC or TJC by week 16. The biomarkers' predictability of response was investigated by AUROC and classification regression tree analysis.

RESULTS:
The best biomarker predictability for identification of TCZ responders were; baseline CTX-I/OC (AUC 0.66, p = 0.0005) and changes in C1M (AUC 0.67, p = 0.0072), C2M (AUC 0.72, p = 0.0002), C3M (AUC 0.63, p = 0.018) and the combination of biomarkers (AUC 0.81, p = 0.0025). Patients with high bone turnover (CTX-I/OC) and low C2M were 6.8-fold (p = 0.003) more likely to have an early response to TCZ.

CONCLUSION:
This enhanced pharmacodynamic (PD) response enabled identification of early responders with a superior TCZ clinical benefit. This biomarker model may assist in the identification of TCZ responsive RA patients and thus potentially benefit individual patients

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
25. Jan 2016

Osteoarthritis year in review 2015: soluble biomarkers and the BIPED criteria

OBJECTIVE:
To review and summarize biomarker data published from April 2014 to May 2015 to provide insight to the ongoing work in the field of osteoarthritis (OA). Furthermore, to summarize the BIPED criteria and set it in context of the medical needs of 2015.

METHODS:
PubMed was used as searching machine: Time period 2014/04/01-2015/05/01, MeSH term [Biomarker] AND [Osteoarthritis], Language; English, Full text available. Reviews were excluded. Only papers describing protein based biomarkers measured in human body fluids from OA patients were included.

RESULTS:
Biomarkers of joint tissue turnover, cytokines, chemokines and peptide arrays were measured in different cohorts and studies. Amongst those were previously tested biomarkers such as osteocalcin, Carboxy-terminal cross-linked fragment of type II collagen (CTX-II) and cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP). A majority of the biomarker were classified as I, B or B biomarkers according to the BIPED criteria. Work is continuing on testing biomarkers in OA. There is still a huge, unmet medical need to identify, test, validate and qualify novel and well-known biomarkers. A pre-requisite for this is better characterization and classification of biomarkers to their needs, which may not be reached before higher understanding of OA phenotypes has been gained. In addition, we provide some references to some recent guidelines from Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) on qualification and usage of biomarkers for drug development and personalized medicine, which may provide value to the field

Hemophilia
14. Mar 2016

Collagen-mediated hemostasis

Collagens mediate essential hemostasis by maintaining the integrity and stability of the vascular wall. Imbalanced turnover of collagens by uncontrolled formation and/or degradation may result in pathologic conditions such as fibrosis. Thickening of the vessel wall because of accumulation of collagens may lead to arterial occlusion or thrombosis. Thinning of the wall because of collagen degradation or deficiency may lead to rupture of the vessel wall or aneurysm. Preventing excessive hemorrhage or thrombosis relies on collagen-mediated actions. Von Willebrand factor, integrins and glycoprotein VI, as well as clotting factors, can bind collagen to restore normal hemostasis after trauma. This review outlines the essential roles of collagens in mediating hemostasis, with a focus on collagens types I, III, IV, VI, XV, and XVIII.

Central Nervous System, Traumatic Brain Injury
26. Jan 2015

Serum tau fragments predict return to play in concussed professional ice hockey players (1)

NTRODUCTION:
The diagnosis of sports-related concussion is mainly based on subjective clinical symptoms and neuropsychological tests. Thus, reliable brain injury biomarkers to assess when it is safe to return to play are highly desirable. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of two newly described tau fragments for diagnosis and prognosis of sports-related concussions Materials and Methods: This multicenter prospective cohort study involved all 12 teams of the top professional ice hockey league in Sweden. A total of 288 players consented to participate in the study. Thirty-five players sustained concussions, of whom 28 underwent repeated blood samplings at 1, 12, 36, and 144 hours after the trauma, or when the player returned to play (7- > 90 days).

RESULTS:
There was no significant increase in the levels of tau-A in post-concussion samples compared with preseason values. However, serum levels of tau-C were significantly higher in post-concussion samples compared with preseason. Further, levels of Tau-A correlated with the duration of post-concussive symptoms.

DISCUSSION:
Tau-A in serum, which is newly discovered biomarker, could be used to predict when it is safe to return to play after a sports-related concussion

Endocrinology
6. Dec 2015

Collagen fragment biomarkers as serological biomarkers of lean body mass - a biomarker pilot study from the DAHANCA25B cohort and matched controls

BACKGROUND:
Loss of muscle mass and function is an important complication to ageing and a range of pathologies, including, but not restricted to, cancer, organ failures, and sepsis. A number of interventions have been proposed ranging from exercise to anabolic pharmacological therapy, with varying success. Easily applicable serological biomarkers of lean and/or muscle mass and change therein would benefit monitoring of muscle mass during muscle atrophy as well as during recovery. We set out to validate if novel peptide biomarkers derived from Collagen III and VI were markers of lean body mass (LBM) or change therein in head and neck cancer patients in the Danish Head and Neck Cancer Group(DAHANCA) 25B cohort subjected to resistance training as well as in an age-matched and gender-matched control group.

METHODS:
Blood samples and dual X-ray absorptiometry data were measured at baseline, after 12 and 24 weeks in 41 HNSCC subjects of the DAHANCA 25B cohort of subjects recovering from neck and head cancer (stages provided in Table 1), and at baseline only in 21 healthy age-matched and gender-matched controls. Serum from blood was analyzed for the ProC3, IC6, and C6M peptide biomarkers and LBM were derived from the dual X-ray absorptiometry scans.

RESULTS:
We were not able to show any correlation between biomarkers and LBM or C6M and anabolic response to exercise in recovering head and neck cancer patients. However, we did find that the biomarkers IC6, IC6/C6M, and ProC3 are biomarkers of LBM in the control group subjects (R (2)/P of 0.249/0.035, 0.416/0.007 and 0.178 and P = 0.057, respectively).

CONCLUSION:
In conclusion, the IC6, ProC3, and IC6/C6M biomarkers are indeed biomarkers of LBM in healthy individuals of both genders, but not in HNSCC patients.

Endocrinology
7. Dec 2015

Collagen Type III and VI Turnover in Response to Long-Term Immobilization

BACKGROUND:
Muscle mass and function are perturbed by immobilization and remobilization. When muscle mass changes, the quality and quantity of the extracellular matrix protein, particularly the collagens, change with it. In this study, we investigated the temporal profile of three peptide biomarkers derived from turnover of collagen type III and type VI in a long-term immobilization and remobilization study. We also compared individual biomarker levels with Lean body Mass (LBM) and changes therein, hypothesizing that these biomarkers would be biomarkers of the remodeling processes associated with immobilization and/or remobilization.

METHODS:
In the Berlin bed rest study, 20 young men were recruited and randomly assigned to 8-week's strict bed rest with or without resistive vibration exercise countermeasure. We measured three neo-epitope ELISA kits in the serum samples of this study: Pro-C3, measured the synthesis of collagen type III; Pro-C6, measured the synthesis of collagen type VI; and C6M measured the degradation of collagen type VI induced by MMP-2 and MMP-9 cleavage.

RESULTS:
Pro-C3 and Pro-C6 biomarkers are up-regulated with both immobilization and remobilization, whereas C6M is hardly affected at all. We found that Pro-C3 and C6M levels are related to LBM at baseline and that high levels of Pro-C6 are associated with smaller changes in muscle mass during both immobilization and remobilization.

CONCLUSION:
The Pro-C3 and-C6 biomarkers change likely reflect remodeling changes in response to unloading or reloading, whereas C6M does not appear to respond to unloading. Pro-C3 and C6M levels correlate with LBM at baseline, while Pro-C6 is related to the anabolic and catabolic responses to unloading and reloading

Bone, Osteoporosis
8. Sep 2015

Null mutation of chloride channel 7 (Clcn7) impairs dental root formation but does not affect enamel mineralization

ClC-7, located in late endosomes and lysosomes, is critical for the function of osteoclasts. Secretion of Cl(-) by the ruffled border of osteoclasts enables H(+) secretion by v-H(+)-ATPases to dissolve bone mineral. Mice lacking ClC-7 show altered lysosomal function that leads to severe lysosomal storage. Maturation ameloblasts are epithelial cells with a ruffled border that secrete Cl(-) as well as endocytose and digest large quantities of enamel matrix proteins during formation of dental enamel. We tested the hypothesis that ClC-7 in maturation ameloblasts is required for intracellular digestion of matrix fragments to complete enamel mineralization. Craniofacial bones and developing teeth in Clcn7 (-/-) mice were examined by micro-CT, immunohistochemistry, quantified histomorphometry and electron microscopy. Osteoclasts and ameloblasts in wild-type mice stained intensely with anti-ClC-7 antibody but not in Clcn7 (-/-) mice. Craniofacial bones in Clcn7 (-/-) mice were severely osteopetrotic and contained 1.4- to 1.6-fold more bone volume, which was less mineralized than the wild-type littermates. In Clcn7 (-/-) mice maturation ameloblasts and osteoclasts highly expressed Ae2 as in wild-type mice. However, teeth failed to erupt, incisors were much shorter and roots were disfigured. Molars formed a normal dental crown. In compacted teeth, dentin was slightly less mineralized, enamel did not retain a matrix and mineralized fairly normal. We concluded that ClC-7 is essential for osteoclasts to resorb craniofacial bones to enable tooth eruption and root development. Disruption of Clcn7 reduces bone and dentin mineral density but does not affect enamel mineralization

Bone, Osteoporosis
18. Dec 2015

Role of biochemical markers in the management of osteoporosis (1)

Estrogen and bone health form a cornerstone of osteoporosis management. Diagnosis of osteoporosis is performed using bone mineral density (BMD), despite the limitations associated with this. Within the last 25 years, numerous bone turnover markers (BTM) have been developed, and this has led to a marked improvement in drug development for osteoporosis and understanding of fast bone losers. Estrogen research has provided landmark research on understanding the relationship between osteoporosis and BTMs. Clinical studies have illustrated how measurement of BTMs can assist in prediction of rapid bone loss, future fractures and, most importantly, the fracture efficacy of drugs. The BTMs provide information independent of BMD and fracture history. In addition, changes in bone turnover within 1 month predict later changes in BMD, which allows for early efficacy and prognostic measures. The aim is to provide a careful review of the possibilities that implementation of BTMs into clinical practice have provided, while placed in a historical context. The primary focus is on how the BTMs have revolutionized clinical trials on osteoporosis drugs through their ability to supplement bone mass measurements and fracture efficacy endpoints

Bone
21. Jul 2015

Suppressed bone remodeling in black bears conserves energy and bone mass during hibernation (1)

Decreased physical activity in mammals increases bone turnover and uncouples bone formation from bone resorption, leading to hypercalcemia, hypercalcuria, bone loss and increased fracture risk. Black bears, however, are physically inactive for up to 6 months annually during hibernation without losing cortical or trabecular bone mass. Bears have been shown to preserve trabecular bone volume and architectural parameters and cortical bone strength, porosity and geometrical properties during hibernation. The mechanisms that prevent disuse osteoporosis in bears are unclear as previous studies using histological and serum markers of bone remodeling show conflicting results. However, previous studies used serum markers of bone remodeling that are known to accumulate with decreased renal function, which bears have during hibernation. Therefore, we measured serum bone remodeling markers (BSALP and TRACP) that do not accumulate with decreased renal function, in addition to the concentrations of serum calcium and hormones involved in regulating bone remodeling in hibernating and active bears. Bone resorption and formation markers were decreased during hibernation compared with when bears were physically active, and these findings were supported by histomorphometric analyses of bone biopsies. The serum concentration of cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART), a hormone known to reduce bone resorption, was 15-fold higher during hibernation. Serum calcium concentration was unchanged between hibernation and non-hibernation seasons. Suppressed and balanced bone resorption and formation in hibernating bears contributes to energy conservation, eucalcemia and the preservation of bone mass and strength, allowing bears to survive prolonged periods of extreme environmental conditions, nutritional deprivation and anuria.

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
9. Dec 2015

Serum Fragments of Tau for the Differential Diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease (1)

Differential diagnosis of AD is still a challenge due to overlapping features with other types of dementia. Biomarkers for the differential diagnosis of AD can improve the diagnostic value of the disease and ensure an appropriate treatment of patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of two neo-epitope fragments of Tau as serum biomarkers for differential diagnosis of AD. The neo-epitope fragments of Tau were assessed in a cross-sectional cohort of subjects with AD, MCI, other dementias or subjects with non-dementia related memory complaints. The two Tau neo-epitope fragments were an ADAM10-generated fragment (Tau-A) and a caspase-3-generated fragment (Tau-C). The serum levels of the fragments were measured by two competitive ELISAs detecting Tau-A and Tau-C, respectively. Tau-A and Tau-C were able to separate subjects with AD and MCI from those with other dementias (p<0.0042 and p<0.05), and Tau-A could also discriminate between AD and MCI patients and subjects with non-dementia related memory complaints (p<0.05). Tau-A showed a significantly greater discrimination between AD and MCI subjects and patients with other dementias when compared to CSF biomarkers t-Tau and p-Tau. The ability of Tau-A to differentiate between AD and MCI from other dementias was comparable with CSF Aβ1-42, t-Tau/Aβ1-42 and p-Tau/Aβ1-42. The separation between the diagnostic groups was significantly improved when the CSF biomarkers as well as age and BMI were used in combination with Tau-A (AUC=0.87, 95% CI: 0.75-0.94) (p<0.0001). In conclusion, this study shows that a neoepitope fragment of Tau detected in serum can provide guidance on the differential diagnosis of AD

Bone, Osteoporosis
19. Nov 2015

Novel targets for the prevention of osteoporosis - lessons learned from studies of metabolic bone disorders (1)

INTRODUCTION:
Osteoporosis is a major health care problem, and whereas efficacious treatments for vertebral fracture reduction are available for osteoporosis patients, these therapies are still limited with respect to capacity for restoration of bone loss, as well as efficacy on non-vertebral fractures, such as hip fractures, which are the source of morbidity and mortality.

AREAS COVERED:
Studies of rare bone diseases in humans, such as osteopetrosis, sclerosteosis, pycnodysostosis and more, have shed light on a series of drug targets in bone that have the potential to result in therapies for osteoporosis with novel mechanisms of action, and the potential to improve the standard of care substantially. We focus on how they are separated from classic treatments for osteoporosis, in terms of novel modes of action, additional beneficial effects on bone turnover and importantly also safety. We focus on the status of anti-sclerostin antibodies, novel parathyroid hormone-related protein analogs, inhibitors of cathepsin K and ClC-7 in osteoclasts, all of which are currently in development.

EXPERT OPINION:
There is a good possibility that the treatment of osteoporosis will be greatly improved within the coming years; however, with numerous effective and safe drugs already available careful attention to the safety of these novel candidates is crucia

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
5. Sep 2015

KBP-042 improves bodyweight and glucose homeostasis with indices of increased insulin sensitivity irrespective of route of administration (1)

KBP-042 is a synthetic peptide dual amylin- and calcitonin-receptor agonist (DACRA) developed to treat type 2 diabetes by inducing a significant weight loss while improving glucose homeostasis. In this study the aim was to compare two different formulations: An oral formulation (1mg/kg) to subcutaneous formulations of KBP-042 (2.5μg/kg, 5.0μg/kg and 7.5μg/kg) with comparable pharmacokinetic profiles. Furthermore to examine if differences in mode of action between the two different routes of administration in high-fat fed Sprague-Dawley rats were present. It was established that the subcutaneous administrations of KBP-042 were able to dose-dependently cause a significant weight-loss, reduce food intake, and improve glucose homeostasis without increasing insulin secretion, effects comparable to those observed with oral administration. At the same time, s.c. KBP-042 suppressed the inappropriate glucagon response better than the oral formulation. Furthermore, KBP-042 was found to reduce incretins GLP-1 and GIP and considerably, improve gastric emptying, and to alleviate leptin resistance, as well as insulin resistance. In conclusion, the subcutaneous route of administration was found to have the same beneficial effects on blood glucose homeostasis and weight loss as well as resistance towards important insulin and leptin, albeit with a markedly lower variation in both exposure and biological responses. These data support the application of subcutaneously delivered peptide for mechanistic studies, and highlight the potential of developing s.c. KBP-042 as a therapy for T2D

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
10. May 2015

The potential of pathological protein fragmentation in blood-based biomarker development for dementia - with emphasis on Alzheimer's disease (1)

The diagnosis of dementia is challenging and early stages are rarely detected limiting the possibilities for early intervention. Another challenge is the overlap in the clinical features across the different dementia types leading to difficulties in the differential diagnosis. Identifying biomarkers that can detect the pre-dementia stage and allow differential diagnosis could provide an opportunity for timely and optimal intervention strategies. Also, such biomarkers could help in selection and inclusion of the right patients in clinical trials of both Alzheimer's disease and other dementia treatment candidates. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been the most investigated source of biomarkers and several candidate proteins have been identified. However, looking solely at protein levels is too simplistic to provide enough detailed information to differentiate between dementias, as there is a significant crossover between the proteins involved in the different types of dementia. Additionally, CSF sampling makes these biomarkers challenging for presymptomatic identification. We need to focus on disease-specific protein fragmentation to find a fragment pattern unique for each separate dementia type - a form of protein fragmentology. Targeting protein fragments generated by disease-specific combinations of proteins and proteases opposed to detecting the intact protein could reduce the overlap between diagnostic groups as the extent of processing as well as which proteins and proteases constitute the major hallmark of each dementia type differ. In addition, the fragments could be detectable in blood as they may be able to cross the blood-brain barrier due to their smaller size. In this review, the potential of the fragment-based biomarker discovery for dementia diagnosis and prognosis is discussed, especially highlighting how the knowledge from CSF protein biomarkers can be used to guide blood-based biomarker development.

Endocrinology
12. May 2015

Lessons learned from the clinical development of oral peptides (2)

Abstract

The oral delivery of peptides and proteins has been hampered by an array of obstacles. However, several promising novel oral delivery systems have been developed. This paper reviews the most advanced oral formulation technologies, and highlights key lessons and implications from studies undertaken to date with these oral formulations. Special interest is given to oral salmon calcitonin (CT), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), insulin, PYY-(3-36), recombinant human parathyroid hormone (rhPTH(1-31)-NH2) and PTH(1-34), by different technologies. The issues addressed include (i) interaction with water, (ii) interaction with food, (iii) diurnal variation, (iv) inter- and intra-subject variability, (v) correlation between efficacy and exposure and (vi) key deliverables of different technologies. These key lessons may aid research in the development of other oral formulations

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
7. Jun 2012

Circulating levels of a collagen type v propeptide fragment in a carbon tetrachloride reversible model of liver fibrosis

AIM:
To measure levels of the collagen V formation marker CO5-1230 during liver fibrosis progression and regression.

METHODS:
Monoclonal antibodies were raised against the sequence TAALGDIMGH located at the start of the C-terminal propeptide between amino acid position 1230' and 1239' (CO5-1230). An assay developed using the biotin-streptavidin system was evaluated in a rat reversible model of fibrosis. Animals were treated for duration of 4, 6 and 8 weeks. Animals that were treated for 8 weeks were left to regress for a period of 14, 20 and 26 weeks.

RESULTS:
Mean CO5-1230 level for control animals was found to be 8.7 ng/mL. CO5-1230 marker levels, at termination points, for CCl(4) treated animals was be 8.7 ng/mL at 4 weeks (P < 0.05, ROC: 0.83), 11.4 ng/mL at 6 weeks (P < 0.001, ROC: 0.93) and 10.8 ng/mL at 8 weeks (P < 0.05, ROC: 0.82). During regression phase, marker levels were statistically significantly decreased when compared with the marker levels at 8 weeks of treatment. Marker levels were found to be 5.9 ng/mL (P < 0.001, ROC: 0.8) after 14 weeks of regression, 3.9 ng/mL (P < 0.001, ROC: 0.95) after 20 weeks and 4.5 ng/mL (P < 0.001, ROC: 0.97) after 26 weeks of regression.

CONCLUSIONS:
The data indicates that CO5-1230 levels are statistically significantly increased when CCl(4) intoxication stimulus is applied in all treatment time points. CO5-1230 levels return back to control levels when the stimulus is removed. The above finding adds to our previous evaluation of the marker and suggests that CO5-1230 may be a promising potential marker for liver fibrosis staging and monitoring in both disease progression and regression

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
4. May 2015

Relationship between serum levels of tau fragments and clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease (1)

Enzyme-generated fragments of tau have been linked to neuronal death and may serve as serum biomarkers of cognitive loss. Two competitive ELISAs detecting an ADAM10-generated fragment (Tau-A) or a caspase-3-generated fragment (Tau-C) were measured in baseline serum samples from patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) from a Phase III clinical trial, and correlated to change in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog11) and Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) over a 64-week period using an MMRM-analysis. Relationship between the biomarkers and changes in ADAS-Cog11 score as a function of time were observed for Tau-C and change in ADAS-Cog11 (p = 0.06), and for Tau-A and change in CDR-SB (p = 0.04). The correlation of Tau-A/Tau-C ratio with cognitive change assessed by ADAS-Cog11 was even more significant (p < 0.006). These data indicate that measuring the balance between tau fragments in serum may provide a marker of the rate of progression of AD and warrant studies in larger cohorts

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
11. May 2015

Guidelines for the standardization of preanalytic variables for blood-based biomarker studies in Alzheimer's disease research

The lack of readily available biomarkers is a significant hindrance toward progressing to effective therapeutic and preventative strategies for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Blood-based biomarkers have potential to overcome access and cost barriers and greatly facilitate advanced neuroimaging and cerebrospinal fluid biomarker approaches. Despite the fact that preanalytical processing is the largest source of variability in laboratory testing, there are no currently available standardized preanalytical guidelines. The current international working group provides the initial starting point for such guidelines for standardized operating procedures (SOPs). It is anticipated that these guidelines will be updated as additional research findings become available. The statement provides (1) a synopsis of selected preanalytical methods utilized in many international AD cohort studies, (2) initial draft guidelines/SOPs for preanalytical methods, and (3) a list of required methodological information and protocols to be made available for publications in the field to foster cross-validation across cohorts and laboratories

Endocrinology
5. May 2015

Lessons learned from the clinical development of oral peptides (1)

The oral delivery of peptides and proteins has been hampered by an array of obstacles. However, several promising novel oral delivery systems have been developed. This paper reviews the most advanced oral formulation technologies, and highlights key lessons and implications from studies undertaken to date with these oral formulations. Special interest is given to oral salmon calcitonin (CT), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), insulin, PYY-(3-36), recombinant human parathyroid hormone (rhPTH(1-31)-NH2) and PTH(1-34), by different technologies. The issues addressed include (i) interaction with water, (ii) interaction with food, (iii) diurnal variation, (iv) inter- and intra-subject variability, (v) correlation between efficacy and exposure and (vi) key deliverables of different technologies. These key lessons may aid research in the development of other oral formulations

Bone
13. Jul 2013

Autosomal dominant osteopetrosis revisited: lessons from recent studies

Systematic studies of autosomal dominant osteopetrosis (ADO) were followed by the identification of underlying mutations giving unique possibilities to perform translational studies. What was previously designated ADO1 turned out to be a high bone mass phenotype caused by a missense mutation in the first propeller of LRP5, a region of importance for binding inhibitory proteins. Thereby, ADO1 cannot be regarded as a classical form of osteopetrosis but must now be considered a disease of LRP5 activation. ADO (Albers-Schönberg disease, or previously ADO2) is characterized by increased number of osteoclasts and a defect in the chloride transport system (ClC-7) of importance for acidification of the resorption lacuna (a form of Chloride Channel 7 Deficiency Osteopetrosis). Ex vivo studies of osteoclasts from ADO have shown that cells do form normally but have reduced resorption capacity and an expanded life span. Bone formation seems normal despite decreased osteoclast function. Uncoupling of formation from resorption makes ADO of interest for new strategies for treatment of osteoporosis. Recent studies have integrated bone metabolism in whole-body energy homeostasis. Patients with ADO may have decreased insulin levels indicating importance beyond bone metabolism. There seems to be a paradigm shift in the treatment of osteoporosis. Targeting ClC-7 might introduce a new principle of dual action. Drugs affecting ClC-7 could be antiresorptive, still allowing ongoing bone formation. Inversely, drugs affecting the inhibitory site of LRP5 might stimulate bone formation and inhibit resorption. Thereby, these studies have highlighted several intriguing treatment possibilities, employing novel modes of action, which could provide benefits to the treatment of osteoporosis

Extracellular Matrix Research
19. Apr 2013

The neo-epitope specific PRO-C3 ELISA measures true formation of type III collagen associated with liver and muscle parameters (1)

AIM:
The present study describes the assessment of true formation of type III collagen in different pathologies using a neo-epitope specific competitive Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) towards the N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen (PRO-C3).

METHODS:
The monoclonal antibody was raised against the N-protease mediated cleavage site of the N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen and a competitive ELISA was developed using the selected antibody. The assay was evaluated in relation to neo-epitope specificity, technical performance, and as a marker for liver fibrosis and muscle mass using the rat carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) model and a study of immobilization induced muscle loss in humans, respectively.

RESULTS:
The ELISA was neo-epitope specific, technically stable and can be assessed in serum and plasma samples. In the CCl4 liver fibrosis model it was observed that serum PRO-C3 were significantly elevated in rats with liver fibrosis as seen by histology (56% elevated in the highest quartile of total hepatic collagen compared to control rats, p<0.001) and correlated significantly to total hepatic collagen in the diseased rats (r=0.46, p<0.01) and not in control rats, suggesting the pathological origin of the epitope. Human plasma PRO-C3 correlated significantly to muscle mass at baseline (R(2)=0.44, p=0.036).

CONCLUSION:
The developed neo-epitope specific serum ELISA for type III procollagen (PRO-C3) reflects true formation as it is specific for the propeptide cleaved off the intact collagen molecule. In a clinical and in a rodent study we showed that this marker was highly related to liver fibrosis and muscle mass

Hepatic System, Hepatitis B/C
29. Sep 2014

PRO-C3-levels in patients with HIV/HCV-Co-infection reflect fibrosis stage and degree of portal hypertension (1)

BACKGROUND:
Liver-related deaths represent the leading cause of mortality among patients with HIV/HCV-co-infection, and are mainly related to complications of fibrosis and portal hypertension. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the structural changes by the assessment of extracellular matrix (ECM) derived degradation fragments in peripheral blood as biomarkers for fibrosis and portal hypertension in patients with HIV/HCV co-infection.

METHODS:
Fifty-eight patients (67% male, mean age: 36.5 years) with HIV/HCV-co-infection were included in the study. Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) was measured in forty-three patients. The fibrosis stage was determined using FIB4 -Score. ECM degraded products in peripheral blood were measured using specific ELISAs (C4M, MMP-2/9 degraded type IV collagen; C5M, MMP-2/9 degraded type V collagen; PRO-C3, MMP degraded n-terminal propeptide of type III collagen).

RESULTS:
As expected, HVPG showed strong and significant correlations with FIB4-index (rs = 0.628; p = 7*10-7). Interestingly, PRO-C3 significantly correlated with HVPG (rs = 0.354; p = 0.02), alanine aminotransferase (rs = 0.30; p = 0.038), as well as with FIB4-index (rs = 0.3230; p = 0.035). C4M and C5M levels were higher in patients with portal hypertension (HVPG>5 mmHg).

CONCLUSION:
PRO-C3 levels reflect liver injury, stage of liver fibrosis and degree of portal hypertension in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients. Furthermore, C4M and C5M were associated with increased portal pressure. Circulating markers of hepatic ECM remodeling might be helpful in the diagnosis and management of liver disease and portal hypertension in patients with HIV/HCV coinfection

Oncology, Lung
3. Oct 2014

Serum biomarkers reflecting specific tumor tissue remodeling processes are valuable diagnostic tools for lung cancer

Extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, such as collagen type I and elastin, and intermediate filament (IMF) proteins, such as vimentin are modified and dysregulated as part of the malignant changes leading to disruption of tissue homeostasis. Noninvasive biomarkers that reflect such changes may have a great potential for cancer. Levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) generated fragments of type I collagen (C1M), of elastin (ELM), and of citrullinated vimentin (VICM) were measured in serum from patients with lung cancer (n = 40), gastrointestinal cancer (n = 25), prostate cancer (n = 14), malignant melanoma (n = 7), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (n = 13), and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) (n = 10), as well as in age-matched controls (n = 33). The area under the receiver operating characteristics (AUROC) was calculated and a diagnostic decision tree generated from specific cutoff values. C1M and VICM were significantly elevated in lung cancer patients as compared with healthy controls (AUROC = 0.98, P < 0.0001) and other cancers (AUROC = 0.83 P < 0.0001). A trend was detected when comparing lung cancer with COPD+IPF. No difference could be seen for ELM. Interestingly, C1M and VICM were able to identify patients with lung cancer with a positive predictive value of 0.9 and an odds ratio of 40 (95% CI = 8.7-186, P < 0.0001). Biomarkers specifically reflecting degradation of collagen type I and citrullinated vimentin are applicable for lung cancer patients. Our data indicate that biomarkers reflecting ECM and IMF protein dysregulation are highly applicable in the lung cancer setting. We speculate that these markers may aid in diagnosing and characterizing patients with lung cancer

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
30. Jul 2013

Serum markers of the extracellular matrix remodeling reflect antifibrotic therapy in bile-duct ligated rats

BACKGROUND:
Progression of liver fibrosis is characterized by synthesis and degradation of extracellular matrix (ECM). Matrix-metalloproteinases (MMP) cleave collagen fibers at a specific site and thereby generate soluble fragments of ECM (neo-epitopes). The levels of these neo-epitopes might reflect the stage of liver fibrosis and may allow monitoring of anti-fibrotic therapies. Here we analyzed these neo-epitopes as read-out for a liver directed therapy with statins.

METHODS:
Bile duct ligation (BDL) was performed on wild type rats, which received atorvastatin (15 mg/kg(*)d) for 1 week starting at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 weeks after BDL (T1-T5), while controls remained untreated. Hepatic fibrosis was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and hepatic hydroxyproline content. TGFβ levels were measured by RT-PCR. Proteolytic activity of MMP-2 was examined by zymography. Levels of degradation MMP driven type I, III, IV and VI collagen degradation (C1M, C3M, C4M, and C6M) and type III and IV collagen formation (PRO-C3 and P4NP7S) markers were assessed by specific ELISAs in serum probes.

RESULTS:
Serum markers of ECM neo-epitopes reflected significantly the deposition of ECM in the liver and were able to distinguish between early (T1-T3) and severe fibrosis (T4-T5). Statin treatment resulted in reduction of neo-epitope markers, especially when therapy was started in the stage of severe fibrosis (T4-T5). Furthermore, these markers correlated with hepatic expression of profibrotic cytokines TGFβ1 and TGFβ2. Formation markers of type III and IV collagen (PRO-C3 and P4NP7S) and degradation markers C4M and C6M correlated significantly with hepatic MMP-2 activity in rats with severe fibrosis.

CONCLUSION:
Determination of ECM remodeling turnover markers in serum allowed a distinction between mild and severe fibrosis. With respect to statin therapy, the markers may serve as read-out for efficacy of anti-fibrotic treatment

Extracellular Matrix Research, Respiratory System, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
29. Oct 2014

The role of extracellular matrix quality in pulmonary fibrosis (1)

This review discusses the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) quality in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). In PF, the highly ordered structure of collagens and elastin within the ECM of the lung is severely disrupted and lacks its original tissue quality. Discussions about the ECM have focused on the role of protein quantity in relation to the progression of PF, while the importance of lung ECM quality, defined by the levels of ECM protein modifications and by the protein distribution in lung tissue, has not been properly addressed. The quality and function of proteins may be altered by different post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as cross-linking, proteolytic cleavage, citrullination, misfolding and glycosylation. This paper is the first to review key data from the literature related to the lung ECM at the molecular level, relate these to changes observed at a macroscopic level and evaluate which PTMs most likely contribute to PF. This paper also reviews the role of novel neo-epitope-specific biomarkers in the early diagnosis and prognosis of fibrotic disorders. We discuss and argue that the altered quality of the individual ECM proteins contributes to the progression of PF and may also lead to the increased quantity of lung proteins. Thus, both quantity and quality appear to be of utmost importance

Extracellular Matrix Research, Renal System, Chronic Renal Disease
29. Oct 2014

Association of versican turnover with all-cause mortality in patients on haemodialysis (1)

OBJECTIVE:
Cardiovascular diseases are among the most common causes of mortality in renal failure patients undergoing haemodialysis. A high turnover rate of the proteoglycan versican, represented by the increased presence of its fragmentation products in plasma, has previously been associated with cardiovascular diseases. The objective of the study was to investigate the association of versican turnover assessed in plasma with survival in haemodialysis patients.

METHODS:
specific matrix metalloproteinase-generated neo-epitope fragment of versican (VCANM) was measured in plasma of 364 haemodialysis patients with a 5-years follow-up, using a robust competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Association between VCANM plasma concentration and survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and adjusted Cox model.

RESULTS:
Haemodialysis patients with plasma VCANM concentrations in the lowest quartile had increased risk of death (odds ratio, as compared to the highest quartile: 7.1, p<0.001), with a reduced survival of 152 days compared to 1295 days for patients with plasma VCANM in the highest quartile. Multivariate analysis showed that low VCANM (p<0.001) and older age (p<0.001) predicted death in haemodialysis patients.

CONCLUSIONS:
Low concentrations of the versican fragment VCANM in plasma were associated with higher risk of death among haemodialysis patients. A possible protective role for the examined versican fragment is suggested

Extracellular Matrix Research, Cardiovascular System, Acute Myocardial Infarct
6. Jul 2012

Clinical evaluation of a matrix metalloproteinase-12 cleaved fragment of titin as a cardiovascular serological biomarker

BACKGROUND:
Titin is a muscle-specific protein found in cardiac and skeletal muscles which is responsible for restoring passive tension. Levels and functioning of titin have been shown to be affected by cardiac damage. Due to the inherent difficulty of measuring titin levels in vivo in a clinical setting, we aimed to develop an assay that could reliably measure fragments of degraded titin in serum and potentially be used in the assessment of cardiac muscle damage.

METHODS:
A competitive ELISA was developed to specifically measure levels of the titin sequence 12670' NVTVEARLIK 12679', derived by the degradation of titin by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-12. Serum samples from 90 individuals were divided into 3 equally sized groups. One group had been diagnosed with acute myocardial infarction (AMI) while the remaining two were asymptomatic individuals either with CT-scan signs of coronary calcium (CT-plusCa) or without coronary calcium (CT-noCa).

RESULTS:
Mean geometric levels of the titin fragment in the CT-noCa group were 506.5 ng/ml (± 43.88). The CT-plusCa group showed 50.6% higher levels of the marker [763 ng/ml (± 90.14)] (P < 0.05). AMI patients showed 56.3% higher levels [792 ng/ml (± 149)] (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:
The titin-12670 fragment is present in both individuals with undiagnosed and diagnosed CVD. The statistically significant increase in level of the marker in the AMI group is indicative that this neoepitope biomarker may be a useful serological marker in AMI

Clinical Data Quality
4. Jan 2016

The impact of clinical trial monitoring approaches on data integrity and cost-a review of current literature

PURPOSE:
Monitoring is a costly requirement when conducting clinical trials. New regulatory guidance encourages the industry to consider alternative monitoring methods to the traditional 100 % source data verification (SDV) approach. The purpose of this literature review is to provide an overview of publications on different monitoring methods and their impact on subject safety data, data integrity, and monitoring cost.
METHODS:
The literature search was performed by keyword searches in MEDLINE and hand search of key journals. All publications were reviewed for details on how a monitoring approach impacted subject safety data, data integrity, or monitoring costs.
RESULTS:
Twenty-two publications were identified. Three publications showed that SDV has some value for detection of not initially reported adverse events and centralized statistical monitoring (CSM) captures atypical trends. Fourteen publications showed little objective evidence of improved data integrity with traditional monitoring such as 100 % SDV and sponsor queries as compared to reduced SDV, CSM, and remote monitoring. Eight publications proposed a potential for significant cost reductions of monitoring by reducing SDV without compromising the validity of the trial results.
CONCLUSIONS:
One hundred percent SDV is not a rational method of ensuring data integrity and subject safety based on the high cost, and this literature review indicates that reduced SDV is a viable monitoring method. Alternative methods of monitoring such as centralized monitoring utilizing statistical tests are promising alternatives but have limitations as stand-alone tools. Reduced SDV combined with a centralized, risk-based approach may be the ideal solution to reduce monitoring costs while improving essential data quality.

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
4. Apr 2013

Circulating citrullinated vimentin fragments reflect disease burden in ankylosing spondylitis and have prognostic capacity for radiographic progression

OBJECTIVE:
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) has been considered a seronegative rheumatic disease based on absent or low levels of antibodies against citrullinated proteins. The present study was undertaken to evaluate whether a citrullinated and matrix metalloproteinase-degraded fragment of vimentin (VICM) could be a prognostic biomarker in AS.

METHODS:
VICM was measured in serum samples from healthy controls (n=35), control patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n=47), and patients with AS (n=201). The optimal cutoff for diagnostic sensitivity and specificity was determined by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Baseline and 2-year spine radiographs were available from 118 AS patients, and were scored using the modified Stoke AS Spine Score (mSASSS). We assessed correlations with patient demographic characteristics (age, disease duration), disease activity (Bath AS Disease Activity Index [BASDAI], C-reactive protein level), and disease severity (mSASSS) using Spearman's rho. The independent association of VICM with 2-year radiographic progression, defined as a change of >0 in the mSASSS or the development of a new syndesmophyte, was analyzed by multivariate regression.

RESULTS:
Levels of degraded VICM were significantly higher in both RA patients and AS patients than in healthy controls (both P<0.001). AS patients with the highest levels of VICM had the largest burden of disease (P<0.01), i.e., highest mSASSS score and BASDAI. VICM levels were significantly and independently associated with radiographic progression after 2 years (β=0.69, P=0.0005). Patients with both a high VICM level and a high baseline mSASSS had the highest risk of radiographic progression (odds ratio 13 for mSASSS change, 32 for new syndesmophytes), with progression occurring in 67% of these patients.

CONCLUSION:
The present findings show that serum VICM may be of prognostic value in AS. The data also suggest that citrullination may be relevant in AS pathogenesis

Extracellular Matrix Research
28. Jan 2010

Serum markers of liver fibrosis: combining the BIPED classification and the neo-epitope approach in the development of new biomarkers

BACKGROUND:
Fibrosis is a central histological feature of chronic liver diseases and is characterized by the accumulation and reorganization of the extracellular matrix. The gold standard for assessment of fibrosis is histological evaluation of a percutaneous liver biopsy. Albeit a considerable effort have been invested in finding alternative non-invasive approaches, these have not been sufficiently successful to replace biopsy assessment.

AIM:
To identify the extracellular matrix proteins of interest, that as protein degradation fragments produced during extracellular matrix metabolism neo-epitopes, may be targeted for novel biochemical marker development in fibrosis. We used the recently proposed BIPED system (Burden of disease, Investigative, Prognostic, Efficacy and Diagnostic) to characterise present serological markers.

METHODS:
Pubmed was search for keywords; Liver fibrosis, neo-epitopes, biomarkers, clinical trail, extra cellular matrix, protease, degradation, fragment.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
Implementation of BIPED categorization in the development and validation of fibrosis biomarkers to simplify and standardize the use of existing and future biomarkers seems advantageous. In addition, a systematic use of the neo-epitope approach, i.e. the quantification of peptide epitopes generated from enzymatic cleavage of proteins during extracellular remodeling, may prove productive in the quest to find new markers of liver fibrosis

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
17. Nov 2012

Ankylosing spondylitis is characterized by an increased turnover of several different metalloproteinase-derived collagen species: a cross-sectional study

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is characterized by gradual cementation of the vertebrae, a process that is described by excessive extracellular matrix remodeling. Specific matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-derived collagen fragments are released to the circulation, and measurement of those might act as biomarkers of ankylosis. The aim of the study was to investigate the diagnostic value of five novel assays measuring different collagen species. Five newly developed ELISAs measuring MMP-degraded collagen fragments in serum of 40 AS patients and 40 age-matched controls were measured: collagen type I (C1M), type II (C2M), type III (C3M), type IV (C4M) and type VI (C6M) as well as the bone formation marker osteocalcin. The levels of the five collagen neoepitopes were significantly higher in AS patients, except for osteocalcin. Cartilage degradation (C2M) was only significantly correlated with the basement membrane (C4M) in the AS patients. In contrast, C3M was significantly correlated with all of the other collagen markers. The highest diagnostic value was achieved when combining the C2M, C3M and C6M markers, AUC 87% (P < 0.0001). Moreover, a combination of the markers correlated with the clinical mSASS score (P = 0.004, R = 0.44). Novel and unique biomarkers of tissue remodeling may provide diagnostic value and aid in understanding of the AS pathology. Each of the biomarkers tells a unique story, and by combining them in a panel there, we found a strong correlation with mSASSS. We speculate that such panel will be a valuable tool for monitoring patients as effect of treatment, for the prediction of responders and for diagnostic purposes

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
30. May 2012

Investigation of two novel biochemical markers of inflammation, matrix metalloproteinase and cathepsin generated fragments of C-reactive protein, in patients with ankylosing spondylitis

OBJECTIVES:
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a chronic inflammation of the spine and the sacroiliac joints. Current markers of inflammation, such as C-reactive protein (CRP), are reflecting the production of an acute phase reactant rather than tissue specific inflammation, but the use of CRP as a diagnostic and prognostic marker for AS has not provided the sought accuracy and specificity. We hypothesized that local enzymatic activity in the disease-affected tissue, which is associated with extensive tissue turnover may, by cleavage, modify the CRP produced in the liver. These cleavage products may provide additional information on systemic inflammation as compared to that of full-length CRP. We investigated whether these CRP degradation products would provide additional diagnostic value in AS patients compared to full-length CRP.

METHODS:
CRP fragments were identified by mass-spectrometry. Two fragments were selected for ELISA development. One assay exclusively identified a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) generated fragment, CRP-MMP, whereas the other assay identified a cathepsin generated fragment, CRP-CAT. Full-length CRP, CRP-MMP and CRP-CAT were measured in serum samples from 40 AS patients and 40 sex- and age-matched controls.

RESULTS:
Full-length CRP was not elevated in AS patients compared to controls, whereas CRP-MMP was elevated by 25% (p<0.001) and CRP-CAT by 50% (p<0.0001). The Area Under Curve of the Receiver-Operator Characteristic curve of CRP-CAT was the highest with 77%.

CONCLUSIONS:
MMP and cathepsin degraded CRP provided more discriminative diagnostic potential compared to that of full-length CRP in this current study. These data suggest that different pools of CRP may provide insight into the inflammation processes in AS

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
7. May 2012

MMP mediated type V collagen degradation (C5M) is elevated in ankylosing spondylitis

OBJECTIVES:
Type V collagen has been demonstrated to control fibril formation. The aim of this study was to develop an ELISA capable of detecting a fragment of type V collagen generated by MMP-2/9 and to evaluate the assay as biomarker for ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

DESIGN AND METHODS:
A fragment unique to type V collagen and generated by both MMP-2/9 cleaved at the amino acid position 1317 (C5M) was selected for ELISA development. 40 AS patients and 40 age-matched controls were evaluated.

RESULTS:
An ELISA detecting C5M with inter- and intra-assay variations of 9.1% and 4.4% was developed. C5M levels were significantly higher in AS patients compared to controls, 229% (p<0.0001). The diagnostic AUC was 83%
.
CONCLUSIONS:
This ELISA is the first for detecting type V collagen degradation. AS patients had highly elevated levels of MMP mediated type V collagen degradation. The prognostic and diagnostic values need to be further investigated in additional clinical settings

Extracellular Matrix Research
16. Oct 2011

Serological biochemical markers of surrogate efficacy and safety as a novel approach to drug repositioning

How do pharmaceutical companies find new uses for old or failed drugs? Is there a way to 'manage serendipity' at the very first stage of identifying compounds that could be developed into new drugs? Several approaches are now being pursued by various companies that are dedicated to drug repositioning cross a spectrum of technologies and scientific bases. Biochemical markers could provide significant shortcuts for drug development. In this review, we introduce drug repositioning, approaches to it and their associated challenges. We also highlight a novel class of serological biomarkers, namely neo-epitopes, which have proven successful in repositioning drugs in clinical settings

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
1. Aug 2013

Circulating protein fragments of cartilage and connective tissue degradation are diagnostic and prognostic markers of rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis

Inflammation driven connective tissue turnover is key in rheumatic diseases, such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Few biomarkers are available for measuring disease prognosis or the efficacy of interventions applied in these tissue-related conditions. Type II collagen is the primary structural protein of cartilage and type III collagen of connective tissues, and obvious targets for the collagenalytic, which increase during tissue inflammation. The objective of the study was to investigate the diagnostic and prognostic utility of cartilage, C2M, and synovial, C3M, turnover biomarkers in AS. Serum samples were retrieved from patients suffering from AS (n = 103), RA (n = 47) and healthy controls (n = 56). AS progressors were defined as having new vertebral syndesmophytes or more that 3 unit change in mSASSS over a two-year period. Type II collagen degradation markers in serum were measured by the C2M ELISA, and type III collagen degradation by the C3M ELISA. Logistic regression and dichotomized decision tree were used to analyze the prognostic value of the markers individually or in combination. Both C2M and C3M levels were significantly higher in RA patients than in healthy controls (p<0.0001). Diagnostic utility was analyzed by ROC and areas under the curve (AUCs) were 72% and 89% for C2M and C3M, respectively. Both C2M and C3M, were significantly higher in serum samples from AS patient than from healthy controls (p<0.0001). The AUCs of C2M and C3M, respectively, were 70% and 81% for AS. A combination of C2M and C3M, dichotomized according to best cut-offs for individual markers, could correctly identify 80% of the progressors and 61% of the non-progressors. The present study is the first to show that specific biomarkers of cartilage and connective tissue degradation facilitate both diagnosis and prediction of progression of RA and AS

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
5. Apr 2010

Investigation of the direct effects of salmon calcitonin on human osteoarthritic chondrocytes

BACKGROUND:
Calcitonin has been demonstrated to have chondroprotective effects under pre-clinical settings. It is debated whether this effect is mediated through subchondral-bone, directly on cartilage or both in combination. We investigated possible direct effects of salmon calcitonin on proteoglycans and collagen-type-II synthesis in osteoarthritic (OA) cartilage.

METHODS:
Human OA cartilage explants were cultured with salmon calcitonin [100 pM-100 nM]. Direct effects of calcitonin on articular cartilage were evaluated by 1) measurement of proteoglycan synthesis by incorporation of radioactive labeled 35SO4 [5 microCi] 2) quantification of collagen-type-II formation by pro-peptides of collagen type II (PIINP) ELISA, 3) QPCR expression of the calcitonin receptor in OA chondrocytes using four individual primer pairs, 4) activation of the cAMP signaling pathway by EIA and, 5) investigations of metabolic activity by AlamarBlue.

RESULTS:
QPCR analysis and subsequent sequencing confirmed expression of the calcitonin receptor in human chondrocytes. All doses of salmon calcitonin significantly elevated cAMP levels (P < 0.01 and P < 0.001). Calcitonin significantly and concentration-dependently [100 pM-100 nM] induced proteoglycan synthesis measured by radioactive 35SO4 incorporation, with a 96% maximal induction at 10 nM (P < 0.001) corresponding to an 80% induction of 100 ng/ml IGF, (P < 0.05). In alignment with calcitonin treatments [100 pM-100 nM] resulted in 35% (P < 0.01) increased PIINP levels.

CONCLUSION:
Calcitonin treatment increased proteoglycan and collagen synthesis in human OA cartilage. In addition to its well-established effect on subchondral bone, calcitonin may prove beneficial to the management of joint diseases through direct effects on chondrocytes

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. May 2010

Aggrecanase- and matrix metalloproteinase-mediated aggrecan degradation is associated with different molecular characteristics of aggrecan and separated in time ex vivo

Aggrecan is one of the first proteins to be depleted from articular cartilage in early osteoarthritis. We investigated the molecular differences between matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)- and aggrecanase-mediated aggrecan degradation, as a consequence of their distinct time-dependent degradation profiles. Cartilage degradation was induced by cytokine stimulation in bovine articular cartilage explants and quantified by a dye-binding assay and immunoassays. The size of degradation fragments was analysed by Western blot. Cytokine stimulation resulted in the early release of aggrecanase-mediated aggrecan degradation fragments. In contrast, MMP-mediated aggrecan degradation began only at day 16 and continued to day 21. Western blot analysis showed that glycosylated high-molecular-weight (374)ARGSVI fragments appeared at day 7, in contrast to deglycosylated low-molecular-weight (342)FFGVG fragments which were detected at day 21. Aggrecan degradation may be divided into two different pools, a high-molecular-weight aggrecanase-mediated pool, and a low-molecular-weight MMP-mediated pool. This may have implications for the development of intervention strategies for OA

Rheumatology
8. Feb 2010

Biochemical markers of joint tissue turnover

Recent disappointments in late stage developments of anti-osteoarthritic drugs have reinforced efforts to develop better biomarkers for application in both the drug development process as well as in the routine management of these patients. Here we provide a brief review of biochemical tests available for the study of tissue turnover in each of the three compartments of the articular joint, that is the bone, the cartilage, and the synovium. Finally, we provide some perspective to future developments in biomarker discovery and discuss the potential impact such technologies could have on the drug development process

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
28. Feb 2010

Which elements are involved in reversible and irreversible cartilage degradation in osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of the entire joint. Different treatment strategies for OA have been proposed and tested clinically without the desired efficacy. One reason for the scarcity of current chondroprotective agents may be the insufficient understanding of the patho-physiology of the joint and whether the joint damage is reversible or irreversible. In this review, we compile emerging data on cellular and pathological aspects of OA, and ask whether these data could give clue to when cartilage degradation is reversible and whether a point-of-no-return exists. We highlight different stages of OA, and speculate whether different intervention strategies (e.g. DMOAD vs. SMOADs) may only be efficacious at distinct stages of OA

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Jun 2009

Cartilage formation measured by a novel PIINP assay suggests that IGF-I does not stimulate but maintains cartilage formation ex vivo

OBJECTIVES:
The aim of this study was to investigate the time-dependent effect of insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF)-I on cartilage, evaluated by a novel procollagen type II N-terminal propeptide (PIINP) formation assay. This was performed in a cartilage model.

METHODS:
Bovine articular cartilage explants were cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (DMEM):F12 in the presence of 0, 0.01, 0.1, 1, 10, or 100 ng/mL of IGF-I. The viability of the chondrocytes was measured by the colorimetric Alamar blue assay. Collagen formation was assessed from the conditioned medium by the PIINP assay. Proteoglycan levels retained in the explants after 22 days of culture were extracted and measured by the sulfated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) assay.

RESULTS:
In the absence of stimulation, PIINP markedly decreased as a function of time (99.4%, p < 0.001). IGF-I dose-dependently stimulated collagen formation and more than 3000% (p < 0.0005) at 100 ng/mL IGF-I at day 20 compared to vehicle control (W/O). IGF-I maintained PIINP at levels comparable to that of day 1. IGF-I dose-dependently protected against proteoglycan loss.

CONCLUSION:
IGF-I dose-dependently maintained cartilage formation. The current developed techniques aid the model to represent a more physiologically relevant model to test novel anabolic drugs for osteoarthritis (OA)

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
18. Dec 2012

The pathogenesis of osteoarthritis involves bone, cartilage and synovial inflammation: may estrogen be a magic bullet

The female predominance of polyarticular osteoarthritis (OA), and in particular the marked increase of OA in women after the menopause points to a likely involvement of female sex hormones in the maintenance of cartilage homeostasis. This perception has inspired many research groups to investigate the role of estrogens in the modulation of cartilage homeostasis with the ultimate aim to clarify whether estrogen replacement therapy (ERT) could provide benefits in preventing the rapid rise in the prevalence of OA in postmenopausal women. The effects of ERT and selective estrogen-receptor modulators on the joint in various experimental models have been investigated. Clinically, the effects of estrogens have been evaluated by post hoc analysis in clinical trials using biochemical markers of cartilage and bone degradation. Lastly, the Women's Health Initiative trial (WHI) investigated the effects of estrogens on the joint and joint replacements. Even though the exact mode of action still needs to be elucidated, the effect involves both direct and indirect mechanisms on the whole joint pathophysiology. Several animal models have demonstrated structural benefits of estrogens, as well as significant effects on joint inflammation. This is in complete alignment with clinical data using biochemical markers of joint degradation which demonstrated approximately 50% inhibition of cartilage destruction. These finding were recently validated in WHI, where women taking estrogens had significantly less joint replacement. In conclusion, the pleiotropic effect of estrogens on several different tissues may match the complicated aetiology of OA in some important aspects

Biomarker position
18. Aug 2013

Quantification of "end products" of tissue destruction in inflammation may reflect convergence of cytokine and signaling pathways -- implications for modern clinical chemistry

The degree of inflammation in auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis is often assessed in serum and used for diagnostic and prognostic purposes. The serum levels of acute inflammatory signaling molecules (C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A) in conjunction with the important pro-inflammatory cytokines themselves may have limited utility due to several limitations. (1) These traditional biomarkers are associated with substantial variation due to biological not technical issues. (2) The combined burden of cytokines rather than one single player may be responsible for the progression of disease. (3) The cellular and tissue origins of cytokines that are detected systemically are difficult to determine as the cytokines lack tissue specificity. (4) There is substantial redundancy in the signaling potential of cytokines. Despite these major limitations, the total burden of inflammatory signaling molecules and pro-inflammatory cytokines are important in assessing the degree of inflammation in conjunction with a diagnosis of disease. The total burden of signaling ultimately results in protease expression, tissue destruction and disease progression. One of the pivotal events in the downstream inflammatory signaling is the generation of pathological enzymes, which results in the release of small but tissue-specific protein fragments into the serum that may be used as molecular biochemical markers. We discuss the potential of this new class of biochemical markers, which may be viewed as "end products of tissue destruction". These so-called protein fingerprints may also be considered end-products of the convergence cytokine signaling pathways, as they are the final end-result of tissue destruction

Extracellular Matrix Research, Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
3. Jun 2013

A MMP derived versican neo-epitope is elevated in plasma from patients with atherosclerotic heart disease

Extracellular matrix remodelling is a prerequisite for plaque rupture in atherosclerotic lesion. Versican, an extracellular matrix proteoglycan present in normal and atherosclerotic arteries is a substrate for matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) present in macrophage rich areas. The aim of the current study was to develop an immunoassay to detect a specific MMP-12 derived versican degradation fragment (VCANM) and assess its potential as a biomarker for extracellular matrix remodelling in atherosclerosis. A mouse monoclonal antibody raised against VCANM was used for the development of a competitive ELISA for detection of the fragment in plasma. VCANM was measured in plasma of patients with different levels of heart diseases. Patients experiencing I) acute coronary syndrome, II) stable ischemic heart disease and III) demonstrating high levels of coronary calcium deposits had significantly higher plasma levels of VCANM compared to a control group of individuals with no detectable coronary calcium deposits. VCANM was also detected by immunohistochemistry in coronary artery sections of patients with different degrees of atherosclerosis. VCANM ability to separate patients with atherosclerotic diseases from healthy individuals suggested VCANM as a potential biomarker for the pathological arterial matrix remodelling associated with atherosclerosis

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
6. Oct 2013

The development and characterization of an ELISA specifically detecting the active form of cathepsin K

OBJECTIVE:
Cathepsin K plays essential roles in bone resorption and is intensely investigated as a therapeutic target for the treatment of osteoporosis. Hence an assessment of the active form of cathepsin K may provide important biological information in metabolic bone diseases, such as osteoporosis or ankylosing spondylitis.

METHODS:
Presently there are no robust assays for the assessment of active cathepsin K in serum, and therefore an ELISA specifically detecting the N-terminal of the active form of cathepsin K was developed.

RESULTS:
The assay was technically robust, with a lowest limit of detection (LOD) of 0.085 ng/mL. The average intra- and inter-assay CV% were 6.60% and 8.56% respectively. The dilution recovery and spike recovery tests in human serum were within 100±20% within the range of the assay. A comparison of latent and active cathepsin K confirmed specificity towards the active form. Quantification of the levels of active cathepsin K in supernatants of purified human osteoclasts compared to corresponding macrophages showed a 30-fold induction (p<0.001). In contrast, in serum samples from osteoporotic women on estrogen or bisphosphonate therapy and from ankylosing spondylitis patients no clinically relevant differences were observed.

CONCLUSION:
In summary, we have developed a robust and sensitive assay specifically detecting the active form of cathepsin K; however, while it monitors osteoclasts with high specificity in vitro, it appears that circulating levels of active cathepsin K do not reflect bone changes under these circumstances

Bone
12. May 2007

Biochemical markers in preclinical models of osteoporosis

Although several treatments for osteoporosis exist, further understanding of the mode of action of current treatments, as well as development of novel treatments, are of interest. Thus, preclinical models of osteoporosis are very useful, as they provide the possibility for gaining knowledge about the cellular mechanisms underlying the disease and for studying pharmaceutical prevention or intervention of the disease in simple and strictly controlled systems. In this review, we present a comprehensive collection of studies using biochemical markers of bone turnover for investigation of preclinical models of osteoporosis. These range from pure and simple in vitro systems, such as osteoclast cultures, to ex vivo models, such as cultures of embryonic murine tibiae and, finally, to in vivo models, such as ovariectomy and orchidectomy of rats. We discuss the relevance of the markers in the individual models, and compare their responses to those observed using 'golden standard' methods

Bone
18. Dec 2003

RANKL and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) induce osteoclast chemotaxis through an ERK1/2-dependent mechanism

Development of bone depends on a continuous supply of bone-degrading osteoclasts. Although several factors such as the matrix metalloproteinases and the integrins have been shown to be important for osteoclast recruitment, the mechanism of action remains poorly understood. In this study we investigated the molecular mechanisms homing osteoclasts to their future site of resorption during bone development. We show that RANKL and VEGF, two cytokines known to be present in bone, possess chemotactic properties toward osteoclasts cultured in modified Boyden chambers. Furthermore, in ex vivo cultures of embryonic murine metatarsals, a well established model of osteoclast recruitment, antagonists of RANKL and VEGF reduced calcium release, showing that both cytokines play roles during bone development. In cultures of purified osteoclasts both RANKL and VEGF induced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 MAP kinase. M-CSF, a well-known chemoattractant of osteoclast, also induced activation of ERK1/2, although this activation followed a kinetic pattern differing from that of RANKL and VEGF. RANKL and VEGF-induced, but not M-CSF-induced, osteoclast invasion was completely blocked by the specific inhibitor of ERK1/2 phosphorylation, PD98059. In addition, PD98059 was able to inhibit calcium release in cultures of embryonic metatarsals. In contrast, PD98059 was unable to abrogate the RANKL-induced calcium release in the tibia model, demonstrating that only some of the RANKL functions on osteoclast physiology are regulated through the ERK1/2 pathway. Taken together, these results show that RANKL and VEGF, in addition to their role in osteoclast differentiation and activation of resorption, are important components of the processes regulating osteoclast chemotaxis

Bone
16. May 2004

Characterization of osteoclasts from patients harboring a G215R mutation in ClC-7 causing autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type II

Autosomal dominant osteopetrosis II (ADOII) is a relatively benign disorder caused by a missense mutation in the ClCN7 gene. In this study, we characterize the osteoclasts from patients with ADOII, caused by a G215R mutation, and investigate the effect on osteoclast function in vitro. Osteoclasts from ADOII patients and healthy age- and sex-matched controls, were used to evaluate osteoclastogenesis, cell fusion, acidification, and resorptive activity. ADOII osteoclasts in vivo have increased number and size. However, in vitro we observed no significant changes in the osteoclast formation rate, the morphology, and the expression of markers, such as cathepsin K and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase. When mature ADOII osteoclasts were investigated on mineralized bone, they degraded the bone material, however only to 10 to 20% of the level in controls. We show by acridine orange, that the reduced chloride transport leads to reduced acidification. We show that the residual activity is sensitive to inhibitors of cathepsins and chloride channels, confirming that resorption is reduced but present. In conclusion, this is the first functional in vitro study of human ADOII osteoclasts. We show normal osteoclastogenesis in ADOII osteoclasts. However, the residual activity of the ClC-7 channel in ADOII osteoclasts does not allow sufficient acidification and thereby resorption

Bone
19. Jul 2004

The chloride channel inhibitor NS3736 [corrected] prevents bone resorption in ovariectomized rats without changing bone formation

Chloride channel activity is essential for osteoclast function. Consequently, inhibition of the osteoclastic chloride channel should prevent bone resorption. Accordingly, we tested a chloride channel inhibitor on bone turnover and found that it inhibits bone resorption without affecting bone formation. This study indicates that chloride channel inhibitors are highly promising for treatment of osteoporosis.

INTRODUCTION:
The chloride channel inhibitor, NS3736, blocked osteoclastic acidification and resorption in vitro with an IC50 value of 30 microM. When tested in the rat ovariectomy model for osteoporosis, daily treatment with 30 mg/kg orally protected bone strength and BMD by approximately 50% 6 weeks after surgery. Most interestingly, bone formation assessed by osteocalcin, mineral apposition rate, and mineralized surface index was not inhibited.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Analysis of chloride channels in human osteoclasts revealed that ClC-7 and CLIC1 were highly expressed. Furthermore, by electrophysiology, we detected a volume-activated anion channel on human osteoclasts. Screening 50 different human tissues showed a broad expression for CLIC1 and a restricted immunoreactivity for ClC-7, appearing mainly in osteoclasts, ovaries, appendix, and Purkinje cells. This highly selective distribution predicts that inhibition of ClC-7 should specifically target osteoclasts in vivo. We suggest that NS3736 is inhibiting ClC-7, leading to a bone-specific effect in vivo.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:
In conclusion, we show for the first time that chloride channel inhibitors can be used for prevention of ovariectomy-induced bone loss without impeding bone formation. We speculate that the coupling of bone resorption to bone formation is linked to the acidification of the resorption lacunae, thereby enabling compounds that directly interfere with this process to be able to positive uncouple this process resulting in a net bone gain

Bone
25. Jun 2007

Characterization of osteoclasts derived from CD14+ monocytes isolated from peripheral blood

Bone resorption is solely mediated by osteoclasts. Therefore, a pure osteoclast population is of high interest for the investigation of biological aspects of the osteoclasts, such as the direct effect of growth factors and hormones, as well as for testing and characterizing inhibitors of bone resorption. We have established a pure, stable, and reproducible system for purification of human osteoclasts from peripheral blood. We isolated CD14-positive (CD14+) monocytes using anti-CD14-coated beads. After isolation, the monocytes are differentiated into mature osteoclasts by stimulation with macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB ligand (RANKL). Osteoclast formation was only observed in the CD14+ population, not in the CD14- population, and only in the presence of both M-CSF and RANKL, confirming that the CD14+ system is a pure population of osteoclast precursors. No expression of osteoclast markers was observed in the absence of RANKL, whereas RANKL dose-dependently induced the expression of cathepsin K, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP), and matrix metallo proteinase (MMP)-9. Furthermore, morphological characterization of the cells demonstrated that actin rings were only formed in the presence of RANKL. Moreover, the osteoclasts were capable of forming acidic resorption lacunae, and inhibitors of lysosomal acidification attenuated this process. Finally, we measured the response to known bone resorption inhibitors, and found that the osteoclasts were sensitive to these and thereby provided a robust and valid method for interpretation of the effect of antiresorptive compounds. In conclusion, we have established a robust assay for developing osteoclasts that can be used to study several biological aspects of the osteoclasts and which in combination with the resorption marker CTX-I provides a useful tool for evaluating osteoclast function in vitro

Bone
18. Jun 2007

Osteoclasts prefer aged bone

We investigated whether the age of the bones endogenously exerts control over the bone resorption ability of the osteoclasts, and found that osteoclasts preferentially develop and resorb bone on aged bone. These findings indicate that the bone matrix itself plays a role in targeted remodeling of aged bones.

INTRODUCTION:
Osteoclasts resorb aging bone in order to repair damage and maintain the quality of bone. The mechanism behind the targeting of aged bone for remodeling is not clear. We investigated whether bones endogenously possess the ability to control osteoclastic resorption.

METHODS:
To biochemically distinguish aged and young bones; we measured the ratio between the age-isomerized betaCTX fragment and the non-isomerized alphaCTX fragment. By measurement of TRACP activity, CTX release, number of TRACP positive cells and pit area/pit number, we evaluated osteoclastogenesis as well as osteoclast resorption on aged and young bones.

RESULTS:
We found that the alphaCTX/betaCTX ratio is 3:1 in young compared to aged bones, and we found that both alpha and betaCTX are released by osteoclasts during resorption. Osteoclastogenesis was augmented on aged compared to young bones, and the difference was enhanced under low serum conditions. We found that mature osteoclasts resorb more on aged than on young bone, despite unchanged adhesion and morphology.

CONCLUSIONS:
These data indicate that the age of the bone plays an important role in controlling osteoclast-mediated resorption, with significantly higher levels of osteoclast differentiation and resorption on aged bones when compared to young bones

Bone
22. Oct 2007

Diphyllin, a novel and naturally potent V-ATPase inhibitor, abrogates acidification of the osteoclastic resorption lacunae and bone resorption

Dissolution of the inorganic phase of bone by the osteoclasts mediated by V-ATPase and ClC-7 is a prerequisite for bone resorption. Inhibitors of osteoclastic V-ATPase or ClC-7 are novel approaches for inhibition of osteoclastic bone resorption. By testing natural compounds in acidification assays, diphyllin was identified. We characterized diphyllin with respect to the pharmacological effects on osteoclasts.

INTRODUCTION:
Osteoclastic acidification of the resorption lacuna and bone resorption requires activity of both V-ATPase and the chloride channel ClC-7. Inhibition of these processes represents a novel approach for treatment of bone metabolic disorders. We identified diphyllin, a novel inhibitor of V-ATPase, and characterized this natural compound with respect to activity in human osteoclasts.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Diphyllin was tested in the acid influx assay and V-ATPase assay using bovine chromaffin granules. Human osteoclasts were generated from CD14+ monocytes cultured with macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) and RANKL. The effect of diphyllin on lysosomal acidification in human osteoclasts was studied using acridine orange. The effect of diphyllin on bone resorption by osteoclasts was measured as release of C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I) and calcium into the supernatants and by scoring pit area. Osteoclast number, TRACP activity, and cell viability were measured. Furthermore, the effect of diphyllin on bone nodule formation was tested using the mouse osteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1.

RESULTS:
In the acid influx assay, diphyllin potently inhibited the acid influx (IC50 = 0.6 nM). We found that diphyllin inhibited V-ATPase with an IC50 value of 17 nM, compared with 4 nM for bafilomycin A1. Moreover, diphyllin dose-dependently inhibited lysosomal acidification in human osteoclasts. Furthermore, we found that diphyllin inhibited human osteoclastic bone resorption measured by CTX-I (IC50 = 14 nM), calcium release, and pit area, despite increasing TRACP activity, numbers of osteoclasts, and cell viability. Finally, diphyllin showed no effect on bone formation in vitro, whereas bafilomycin A1 was toxic.

CONCLUSIONS:
We identified a natural compound that potently inhibits V-ATPase and thereby lysosomal acidification in osteoclasts, which leads to abrogation of bone resorption. Because recent studies indicate that inhibition of the osteoclastic acidification leads to inhibition of resorption without inhibiting formation, we speculate that diphyllin is a potential novel treatment for bone disorders involving excessive resorption.

Bone
18. May 2007

Assessment of osteoclast number and function: application in the development of new and improved treatment modalities for bone diseases

Numerous experimental and clinical observations suggest that overall changes in bone resorption during menopause or treatment with hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are combined effects of changes in osteoclast number and function. Moreover, due to a coupling between osteoclastic bone resorption and osteoblastic bone formation, pronounced alteration of osteoclast number will eventually lead to alteration of osteoblastic bone formation. Fragments of type I collagen, such as the C- and N-terminal telopeptides of collagen type I (CTX and NTX, respectively), are generated during bone resorption and hence can be used as surrogate markers of osteoclast function. Circulating levels of different enzymes in the serum, such as TRAP 5b and cathepsin K are proportional to the number of osteoclasts, and hence can be used as surrogate markers of osteoclast number. Since antiresorptive effects can be obtained in different ways, we felt it was timely to discuss the different scenarios, highlight differences specific to different pharmacological interventions with different mechanisms of action, and discuss how these bone markers can assist us in a deeper analysis of the pharmacodynamics and safety profile of existing and upcoming drug candidates

Bone
25. Aug 2006

Estrogen directly attenuates human osteoclastogenesis, but has no effect on resorption by mature osteoclasts

Estrogen deficiency arising with the menopause promotes marked acceleration of bone resorption, which can be restored by hormone replacement therapy. The inhibitory effects of estrogen seem to involve indirect cytokine- mediated effects via supporting bone marrow cells, but direct estrogen-receptor mediated effects on the bone-resorbing osteoclasts have also been proposed. Little information is available on whether estrogens modulate human osteoclastogenesis or merely inhibit the functional activity of osteoclasts. To clarify whether estrogens directly modulate osteoclastic activities human CD14+ monocytes were cultured in the presence of M-CSF and RANKL to induce osteoclast differentiation. Addition of 0.1-10 nM 17beta-estradiol to differentiating osteoclasts resulted in a dose-dependent reduction in tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRACP) activity reaching 60% at 0.1 nM. In addition, 17beta-estradiol inhibited bone resorption, as measured by the release of the C-terminal crosslinked telopeptide (CTX), by 60% at 0.1 nM, but had no effect on the overall cell viability. In contrast to the results obtained with differentiating osteoclasts, addition of 17beta-estradiol (0.001-10 nM) to mature osteoclasts did not affect bone resorption or TRACP activity. We investigated expression of the estrogen receptors, using immunocytochemistry and Western blotting. We found that ER-alpha is expressed in osteoclast precursors, whereas ER- beta is expressed at all stages, indicating that the inhibitory effect of estrogen on osteoclastogenesis is mediated by ER-alpha for the major part. In conclusion, these results suggest that the in vivo effects of estrogen are mediated by reduction of osteoclastogenesis rather than direct inhibition of the resorptive activity of mature osteoclasts

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
3. Aug 2006

Effects of ovariectomy and estrogen therapy on type II collagen degradation and structural integrity of articular cartilage in rats: implications of the time of initiation

OBJECTIVE:
To investigate how the time of initiation influences the effects of estrogen therapy on type II collagen (CII) turnover and the structural integrity of articular cartilage in ovariectomized rats and to determine whether estrogen exerts direct effects on the catabolic function of chondrocytes ex vivo.

METHODS:
A total of 46 Sprague-Dawley rats were distributed into 1 of the following treatment groups: 1) ovariectomy, 2) ovariectomy plus early estrogen therapy, 3) ovariectomy plus delayed estrogen therapy, or 4) sham operation. Cartilage turnover was estimated by measuring the serum levels of C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II). Cartilage lesions at week 9 were quantified using a published scoring technique. The presence of the CTX-II epitope in articular cartilage was assessed by immunohistochemistry. The effects of estrogen (1-100 nM) on chondrocytes were investigated in bovine cartilage explants subjected to catabolic cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNFalpha] and oncostatin M [OSM]).

RESULTS:
In ovariectomized rats, estrogen therapy evoked significant decreases in serum CTX-II independently of the time of initiation; yet, delayed initiation resulted in diminished efficacy in terms of preventing cartilage lesions. CTX-II fragments were present in articular cartilage, colocalizing with early lesions at the cartilage surface. In untreated animals, the early relative increases in serum CTX-II were proportional to the severity of cartilage lesions at week 9 (r = 0.73, P < 0.01). Estrogen significantly and dose-dependently countered CTX-II release from TNFalpha plus OSM-stimulated cartilage explants ex vivo.

CONCLUSION:
Our results suggest that estrogen counters the acceleration of CII degradation and related structural alterations, and these benefits can be maximized by early initiation after menopause. The protective effect of estrogen seems to involve direct inhibition of the catabolic function of chondrocytes

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Aug 2006

Relative contribution of matrix metalloprotease and cysteine protease activities to cytokine-stimulated articular cartilage degradation

OBJECTIVE:
Both matrix metalloprotease (MMP) activity and cathepsin K (CK) activity have been implicated in cartilage turnover. We investigated the relative contribution of MMP activity and CK activity in cartilage degradation using ex vivo and in vivo models.

METHODS:
Bovine articular cartilage explants were stimulated with oncostatin M (OSM) 10 ng/ml and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) 20 ng/ml in the presence or absence of the broad-spectrum MMP inhibitor GM6001 and the cysteine protease inhibitor, E64. Cartilage degradation was evaluated in the conditioned medium by glycosaminoglycans (GAG), hydroxyproline, and cross-linked C-telopeptide fragments of type II collagen (CTX-II), which were compared to immunohistochemical evaluations of proteoglycans and CTX-II. We assessed MMP expression by gelatine zymography and CK expression by immunohistochemistry. In vivo, CTX-II release was measured from CK-deficient mice.

RESULTS:
OSM and TNF-alpha combined induced significant (P<0.01) increase in cartilage degradation products measured by hydroxyproline and CTX-II compared to vehicle control. The cytokines potently induced MMP expression, assessed by zymography, and CK expression investigated by immunohistochemistry. Inhibition of MMP activity completely abrogated hydroxyproline and CTX-II release (P<0.01) and GAG release (P<0.05). In contrast, E64 resulted in increased CTX-II release by 100% (P<0.05) and inhibited GAG release by 30%. Up-regulation of CTX-II fragments was confirmed in vivo in CK null mice.

CONCLUSION:
Inhibition of MMP activity reduced both proteoglycan loss and type II collagen degradation. In contrast, inhibition of cysteine proteases resulted in an increase rather than a decrease in MMP derived fragments of collagen type II degradation, CTX-II, suggesting altered collagen metabolism

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Aug 2006

Calcitonin directly attenuates collagen type II degradation by inhibition of matrix metalloproteinase expression and activity in articular chondrocytes

OBJECTIVE:
Calcitonin was recently reported to counter progression of cartilage degradation in an experimental model of osteoarthritis, and the effects were primarily suggested to be mediated by inhibition of subchondral bone resorption. We investigated direct effects of calcitonin on chondrocytes by assessing expression of the receptor and pharmacological effects on collagen type II degradation under ex vivo and in vivo conditions.

METHODS:
Localization of the calcitonin receptor on articular chondrocytes was investigated by immunohistochemistry, and the expression by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In bovine articular cartilage explants, cartilage degradation was investigated by release of C-terminal telopeptides of collagen type II (CTX-II), induced by tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) [20 ng/ml] and oncostatin M (OSM) [10 ng/ml], with salmon calcitonin [0.0001-1 microM]. In vivo, cartilage degradation was investigated in ovariectomized (OVX) rats administered with oral calcitonin [2 mg/kg calcitonin] for 9 weeks.

RESULTS:
The calcitonin receptor was identified in articular chondrocytes by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Calcitonin concentration-dependently increased cAMP levels in isolated chondrocytes. Explants cultured with TNF-alpha and OSM showed a 100-fold increase in CTX-II release compared to vehicle-treated controls (P<0.001). The degradation of type II collagen in these explants was concentration-dependently inhibited by calcitonin, 65% protection at 10 nM calcitonin (P<0.01). TNF-alpha and OSM induced a pronounced increase in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity, which was strongly inhibited by calcitonin. In vivo, administration of salmon calcitonin to OVX rats resulted in significant (P<0.001) decrease in CTX-II levels.

CONCLUSION:
These results are the first evidence of calcitonin receptor expression on articular chondrocytes and that the chondroprotective effects of calcitonin might involve the inhibition of MMP expression

Bone
18. Oct 2005

The role of chloride channels in osteoclasts: ClC-7 as a target for osteoporosis treatment

Chloride ions play a major role in osteoclast biology and bone homeostasis. In addition to its general cellular roles, chloride is involved in the specific bone resorption activity of osteoclasts. The chloride channel ClC-7 has been shown to be mandatory for bone resorption. It is necessary for the acidification of the resorption lacunae. In addition to ClC-7, other chloride channels and exchangers have been identified in osteoclasts. The bicarbonate-chloride exchanger at the plasma membrane of osteoclasts is important for regulating the cytoplasmic pH during bone resorption. The role of the additional chloride channels or putative chloride channels identified in osteoclasts, volume-regulated anion channel, Chlor.62 and CLIC1 has not been established. To date, ClC-7 is the only known chloride channel whose disruption or mutation leads to a bone disease: osteopetrosis, which is characterized by an increased bone mass. Inhibition of ClC-7 constitutes a new potential way to treat osteoporosis. The expression of ClC-7 is restricted to few tissues with very high expression in the osteoclasts in bone. Pharmacologically, inhibitors of acidification of the resorption lacunae have proved to be unique, as inhibition leads to a decrease in bone resorption without affecting bone formation, suggesting that the coupling principle has been challenged. Thus, ClC-7 inhibitors may prove to be potent for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

Bone
15. Jun 2011

Degradation of the organic phase of bone by osteoclasts: a secondary role for lysosomal acidification

Osteoclasts degrade bone matrix by secretion of hydrochloric acid and proteases. We studied the processes involved in the degradation of the organic matrix of bone in detail and found that lysosomal acidification is involved in this process and that MMPs are capable of degrading the organic matrix in the absence of cathepsin K.

INTRODUCTION:
Osteoclasts resorb bone by secretion of acid by the vacuolar H+-adenosine triphosphatase (V-ATPase) and the chloride channel ClC-7, followed by degradation of the matrix, mainly collagen type I, by cathepsin K and possibly by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). However, the switch from acidification to proteolysis and the exact roles of both the ion transporters and the proteinases still remain to be studied.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
We isolated CD14+ monocytes from human peripheral blood from either controls or patients with autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type II (ADOII) caused by defective ClC-7 function and cultured them in the presence of RANKL and macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) to generate osteoclasts. We decalcified cortical bovine bone slices and studied the osteoclasts with respect to morphology, markers, and degradation of the decalcified matrix in the presence of various inhibitors of osteoclast acidification and proteolysis, using normal calcified bone as a reference.

RESULTS:
We found that ADOII osteoclasts not only have reduced resorption of the calcified matrix, but also 40% reduced degradation of the organic phase of bone. We found that both acidification inhibitors and cathepsin K inhibitors reduced degradation of the organic matrix by 40% in normal osteoclasts, but had no effect in the ADOII osteoclasts. Furthermore, we showed that inhibition of MMPs leads to a 70% reduction in the degradation of the organic bone matrix and that MMPs and cathepsin K have additive effects. Finally, we show that osteoclastic MMPs mediate release of the carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) fragment in the absence of cathepsin K activity, and therefore, to some extent, are able to compensate for the loss of cathepsin K activity.

CONCLUSIONS:
These data clearly show that osteoclastic acidification of the lysosomes plays a hitherto nonrecognized role in degradation of the organic matrix. Furthermore, these data shed light on the complicated interplay between acidification dependent and independent proteolytic processes, mediated by cathepsin K and the MMPs, respectively

Bone
2. Jun 2005

In vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo methodological approaches for studying therapeutic targets of osteoporosis and degenerative joint diseases: how biomarkers can assist

Although our approach to the clinical management of osteoporosis (OP) and degenerative joint diseases (DJD)-major causes of disability and morbidity in the elderly-has greatly advanced in the past decades, curative treatments that could bring ultimate solutions have yet to be found or developed. Effective and timely development of candidate drugs is a critical function of the availability of sensitive and accurate methodological arsenal enabling the recognition and quantification of pharmacodynamic effects. The established concept that both OP and DJD arise from an imbalance in processes of tissue formation and degradation draws attention to need of establishing in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo experimental settings, which allow obtaining insights into the mechanisms driving increased bone and cartilage degradation at cellular, organ, and organism levels. When addressing changes in bone or cartilage turnover at the organ or organism level, monitoring tools adequately reflecting the outcome of tissue homeostasis become particularly critical. In this context, bioassays targeting the quantification of various degradation and formation products of bone and cartilage matrix elements represent a useful approach. In this review, a comprehensive overview of widely used and recently established in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo set-ups is provided, which in many cases effectively take advantage of the potentials of biomarkers. In addition to describing and discussing the advantages and limitations of each assay and their methods of evaluation, we added experimental and clinical data illustrating the utility of biomarkers for these methodological approaches

Bone
5. Nov 2005

Osteoclasts from patients with autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type I caused by a T253I mutation in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 5 are normal in vitro, but have decreased resorption capacity in vivo

Autosomal dominant osteopetrosis type I (ADOI) is presumably caused by gain-of-function mutations in the LRP5 gene. Patients with a T253I mutation in LRP5 have a high bone mass phenotype, characterized by increased mineralizing surface index but abnormally low numbers of small osteoclasts. To investigate the effect of the T253I mutation in LRP5 on osteoclasts, we isolated CD14+ monocytes from ADOI patients and assessed their ability to generate osteoclasts when treated with RANKL and M-CSF compared to that of age- and sex-matched control osteoclasts. We found normal osteoclastogenesis, expression of osteoclast markers, morphology, and localization of proteins involved in bone resorption, such as ClC-7 and cathepsin K. The ability to resorb bone was also normal. In vivo, we compared the bone resorption and bone formation response to T3 in ADOI patients and age- and sex-matched controls. We found attenuated resorptive response to T3 stimulation, despite a normal bone formation response, in alignment with the reduced number of osteoclasts in vivo. These data demonstrate that ADOI osteoclasts are normal with respect to all aspects investigated in vitro. We speculate that the mutations causing ADOI alter the osteoblastic phenotype toward a smaller potential for supporting osteoclastogenesis

Bone
4. Sep 2008

Ion transporters involved in acidification of the resorption lacuna in osteoclasts

Osteoclasts possess a large amount of ion transporters, which participate in bone resorption; of these, the vacuolar-adenosine trisphosphatase (V-ATPase) and the chloride-proton antiporter ClC-7 acidify the resorption lacuna. However, whether other ion transporters participate in this process is currently not well understood. We used a battery of ion channel inhibitors, human osteoclasts, and their subcellular compartments to perform an unbiased analysis of the importance of the different ion transporters for acidification of the resorption lacuna in osteoclasts. CD14(+) monocytes from human peripheral blood were isolated, and mature osteoclasts were generated using RANKL and M-CSF. The human osteoclasts were (1) used for acridine orange assays for evaluation of lysosomal acidification, (2) used for bone resorption assays, (3) used for generation of osteoclasts membranes for acid influx experiments, or (4) lysed in trizol for mRNA isolation for Affymetrix array analysis. Inhibitors targeted toward most of the ion transporters showed low potency in the acidification-based assays, although some inhibitors, such as carbonic anhydrase II and the sodium-hydrogen exchanger (NHE) inhibitors, reduced resorption potently. In contrast, inhibitors targeted at V-ATPase and ClC-7 potently inhibited both acidification and resorption, as expected. We here show evidence that acidification of the resorption lacuna is mainly mediated by V-ATPase and ClC-7. Furthermore, a group of other ion transporters, including carbonic anhydrase II, the NHEs, and potassium-chloride cotransporters, are all involved in resorption but do not seem to directly be involved in acidification of the lysosomes

Bone
3. Jun 2008

Characterization of the bone phenotype in ClC-7-deficient mice

Mice deficient in the chloride channel ClC-7, which is likely involved in acidification of the resorption lacuna, display severe osteopetrosis. To fully characterize the osteopetrotic phenotype, the phenotypes of osteoclasts and osteoblasts were evaluated. ClC-7(-/-) mice and their corresponding wild-type littermates were killed at 4-5 weeks of age. Biochemical markers of bone resorption (CTX-I), osteoclast number (TRAP5b), and osteoblast activity (ALP) were evaluated in serum. Splenocytes were differentiated into osteoclasts using M-CSF and RANKL. Mature osteoclasts were seeded on calcified or decalcified bone slices, and CTX-I, Ca(2+), and TRAP were measured. Acidification rates in membrane vesicles from bone cells were measured using acridine orange. Osteoblastogenesis and nodule formation in vitro were investigated using calvarial osteoblasts. ClC-7(-/-) osteoclasts were unable to resorb calcified bone in vitro. However, osteoclasts were able to degrade decalcified bone. Acid influx in bone membrane vesicles was reduced by 70% in ClC-7(-/-) mice. Serum ALP was increased by 30% and TRAP5b was increased by 250% in ClC-7(-/-) mice, whereas the CTX/TRAP5b ratio was reduced to 50% of the wild-type level. Finally, evaluation of calvarial ClC-7(-/-) osteoblasts showed normal osteoblastogenesis. In summary, we present evidence supporting a pivotal role for ClC-7 in acidification of the resorption lacuna and evidence indicating that bone formation and bone resorption are no longer balanced in ClC-7(-/-) mice

Bone
23. Jan 2009

Characterization of acid flux in osteoclasts from patients harboring a G215R mutation in ClC-7

The chloride-proton antiporter ClC-7 has been speculated to be involved in acidification of the lysosomes and the resorption lacunae in osteoclasts; however, neither direct measurements of chloride transport nor acidification have been performed. Human osteoclasts harboring a dominant negative mutation in ClC-7 (G215R) were isolated, and used these to investigate bone resorption measured by CTX-I, calcium release and pit scoring. The actin cytoskeleton of the osteoclasts was also investigated. ClC-7 enriched membranes from the osteoclasts were isolated, and used to test acidification rates in the presence of a V-ATPase and a chloride channel inhibitor, using a H(+) and Cl(-) driven approach. Finally, acidification rates in ClC-7 enriched membranes from ADOII osteoclasts and their corresponding controls were compared. Resorption by the G215R osteoclasts was reduced by 60% when measured by both CTX-I, calcium release, and pit area when comparing to age and sex matched controls. In addition, the ADOII osteoclasts showed no differences in actin ring formation. Finally, V-ATPase and chloride channel inhibitors completely abrogated the H(+) and Cl(-) driven acidification. Finally, the acid influx was reduced by maximally 50% in the ClC-7 deficient membrane fractions when comparing to controls. These data demonstrate that ClC-7 is essential for bone resorption, via its role in acidification of the lysosomes and resorption lacunae in osteoclasts

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
15. Aug 2009

A comparison of glycemic control, water retention, and musculoskeletal effects of balaglitazone and pioglitazone in diet-induced obese rats

Agonists of Perioxisome Proliferator-Activator Receptor gamma (PPARgamma), which work as insulin sensitizers, are approved for type 2 diabetes. However, adverse effects, such as oedemas, infarctions, and increased fracture rates, limit their applicability. We performed a head-to-head comparison of equipotent glucose lowering concentrations of the partial PPARgamma agonist balaglitazone and the full agonist pioglitazone in male diet-induced obese rats, to investigate effects on bone formation, fluid retention and fat accumulation. Sixty male dio induced obese rats were divided into five categories: vehicle, pioglitazone 10 mg/kg, pioglitazone 30 mg/kg, balaglitazone 5 mg/kg, balaglitazone 10 mg/kg. At day -7, 21 and 42 fasting serum samples were collected and whole body tissue composition was evaluated by MR scanning. Food intake and bodyweights were monitored during the study period. At day 42, an oral glucose tolerance test was performed to evaluate glucose homeostasis in the rats. During oral glucose tolerance test both pioglitazone and balaglitazone lowered baseline glucose and maintained the suppression during the oral glucose tolerance test. Both lowered basal insulin, peak insulin secretion and total insulin during oral glucose tolerance test. Both drugs increased bodyweight, although this was more pronounced in the pioglitazone 30 group. MR scans of body fat and water showed that all treatment groups increased their fat mass, whereas only the pioglitazone 30 group accumulated water. Pioglitazone treatment led to reduction of the bone formation marker osteocalcin, whereas balaglitazone treatment did not affect it. Balaglitazone is a novel PPARgamma agonist, which potently lowers glucose levels, while it neither affects fluid retention nor bone formation parameters

Bone
4. Jun 2009

Local communication on and within bone controls bone remodeling

Bone remodeling is required for healthy calcium homeostasis and for repair of damage occurring with stress and age. Osteoclasts resorb bone and osteoblasts form bone. These processes normally occur in a tightly regulated sequence of events, where the amount of formed bone equals the amount of resorbed bone, thereby restoring the removed bone completely. Osteocytes are the third cell type playing an essential role in bone turnover. They appear to regulate activation of bone remodeling, and they exert both positive and negative regulation on both osteoclasts and osteoblasts. In this review, we consider the intricate communication between these bone cells in relation to bone remodeling, reviewing novel data from patients with mutations rendering different cell populations inactive, which have shown that these interactions are more complex than originally thought. We highlight the high probability that a detailed understanding of these processes will aid in the development of novel treatments for bone metabolic disorders, i.e. we discuss the possibility that bone resorption can be attenuated pharmacologically without a secondary reduction in bone formation

Bone
15. May 2010

Should biochemical markers of bone turnover be considered standard practice for safety pharmacology

The success in biomedical sciences such as genomics and proteomics is not paralleled in the medical product development methods. The consequence of this is a lack of translation into improved drug safety and efficacy. Therefore the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced the Critical Path Initiative in 2004 to modernize drug development and safety pharmacology. Bone is that largest tissue by weight, and is continuously remodelled. Changes in bone turnover lead to complications such as osteoporosis and fracture, that is associated with an increased mortality. Recent findings have identified bone as a possible endocrine organ and the availability of valid biochemical bone markers suggests that assessing bone turnover should also play an important role in general safety pharmacology

Bone
15. Feb 2011

Osteoclast activity and subtypes as a function of physiology and pathology--implications for future treatments of osteoporosis

Osteoclasts have traditionally been associated exclusively with catabolic functions that are a prerequisite for bone resorption. However, emerging data suggest that osteoclasts also carry out functions that are important for optimal bone formation and bone quality. Moreover, recent findings indicate that osteoclasts have different subtypes depending on their location, genotype, and possibly in response to drug intervention. The aim of the current review is to describe the subtypes of osteoclasts in four different settings: 1) physiological, in relation to turnover of different bone types; 2) pathological, as exemplified by monogenomic disorders; 3) pathological, as identified by different disorders; and 4) in drug-induced situations. The profiles of these subtypes strongly suggest that these osteoclasts belong to a heterogeneous cell population, namely, a diverse macrophage-associated cell type with bone catabolic and anabolic functions that are dependent on both local and systemic parameters. Further insight into these osteoclast subtypes may be important for understanding cell-cell communication in the bone microenvironment, treatment effects, and ultimately bone quality

Bone
10. Oct 2010

Oral salmon calcitonin--pharmacology in osteoporosis

IMPORTANCE OF THE FIELD:
Osteoporosis is a slow progressive disease with develops over decades, and where intervention is needed for an extended number of years. This highlights the need for safe intervention possibilities, which have sustained beneficial effects post-treatment.

AREAS COVERED IN THIS REVIEW:
Articles on salmon calcitonin appearing on Pubmed from 1960 until today, with focus on a newly developed oral formulation showing increased exposure and efficacy compared with nasal formulation is reviewed. The second half focuses on long-term phenomena, such as bone quality and resolution effects. The final part discusses potential additional benefits of salmon calcitonin.

WHAT THE READER WILL GAIN:
Insight into the clinical development of an orally formulated peptide, as well as a detailed understanding of why this approach could revive salmon calcitonin as a treatment for osteoporosis.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE:
The oral formulation of salmon calcitonin provides additional benefits and increased efficacy on bone based on Phase I and II clinical trials data, as compared with the nasal formulation. Hence, the results on the ongoing Phase III fracture trial are awaited with great interest

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
13. Oct 2011

A novel oral form of salmon calcitonin improves glucose homeostasis and reduces body weight in diet-induced obese rats

AIM:
To investigate the effects of acute and chronic administration of a novel oral formulation of salmon calcitonin (sCT) on glycaemic control, glucose homeostasis and body weight regulation in diet-induced obese (DIO) rats-an animal model of obesity-related insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

METHODS:
DIO rats were acutely given a single dose of oral sCT (0.5 and 2 mg/kg), its oral vehicle N-(5-chlorosalicyloyl)-8-aminocaprylic acid (5-CNAC) or injectable sCT (5 and 10 µg/kg) (n = 8), followed by oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). Other DIO rats were chronic treated twice daily with oral vehicle 5-CNAC (n = 6), oral sCT (0.5 and 2 mg/kg) or injectable sCT (10 µg/kg) (n = 8). Fasting and postprandial glucose and pancreatic hormones, body weight and insulin sensitivity were assessed.

RESULTS:
A single dose of oral sCT acutely reduced glucose and insulin area under the curve during OGTT by approximately 65 and 85%, respectively, compared with vehicle (p < 0.001). Chronic treatment with oral sCT significantly reduced both fasting and postprandial glucose and insulin levels by approximately 1.5 mM and 65%, respectively, compared with vehicle. Oral sCT concomitantly improved insulin sensitivity (homeostatic model assessment, HOMA). In contrast, injectable sCT resembling higher systemic exposure did not improve glycaemic control, either acutely or during chronic treatment. Furthermore, both oral and injectable sCT reduced body weight by 15% compared with vehicle (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:
A novel oral form of sCT showed antidiabetic effects in DIO rats by improving glycaemic control, glucose homeostasis, insulin sensitivity and body weight

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
27. May 2011

Efficacy and safety of the PPARγ partial agonist balaglitazone compared with pioglitazone and placebo: a phase III, randomized, parallel-group study in patients with type 2 diabetes on stable insulin therapy

BACKGROUND:
Treatment of patients with perioxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ full agonists are associated with weight gain, heart failure, peripheral oedema, and bone loss. However, the safety of partial perioxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ agonists has not been established in a clinical trial. The BALaglitazone glucose Lowering Efficacy Trial aimed to establish the glucose-lowering effects and safety parameters of the perioxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ partial agonist balaglitazone in diabetic patients on stable insulin therapy.

METHODS:
Four hundred and nine subjects from three countries with type 2 diabetes on stable insulin therapy were randomized to 26 weeks of double-blind treatment with once daily doses of 10 or 20 mg balaglitazone, 45 mg pioglitazone, or matching placebo (n ≥ 99 in each group). The primary endpoint was the efficacy of balaglitazone 10 and 20 mg versus placebo on the absolute change in haemoglobin A(1c) . Secondary endpoints included levels of fasting serum glucose, and changes in body composition and bone mineral density as measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, in comparison to pioglitazone 45 mg. This study is registered with Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT00515632.

RESULTS:
In the 10- and 20-mg balaglitazone groups, and in the 45-mg pioglitazone group, significant reductions in haemoglobin A(1c) levels were observed (−0.99, −1.11, and −1.22%, respectively; p < 0.0001) versus placebo. Fasting serum glucose was similarly reduced in all treatment arms. Dual energy X-ray absorptiometry analyses showed that, while balaglitazone at 10 mg caused weight gain and fluid retention compared to placebo, the magnitude of these effects was significantly smaller than that of pioglitazone 45 mg and balaglitazone 20mg. Balaglitazone at either dose did not appear to reduce bone mineral density, while Pioglitazone showed a trend towards a reduction.

CONCLUSION:
Patients treated with balaglitazone at 10 mg and 20 mg and pioglitazone at 45 mg showed clinically meaningful improvements in glucose levels and HbA(1c) . With the 10 mg dose, the benefits (glucose & HgA(1c) lowering) and untoward effects (fluid and fat accumulation) were less, results that encourage further studies of this drug candidate

Bone
11. Jun 2011

Dissociation of bone resorption and bone formation in adult mice with a non-functional V-ATPase in osteoclasts leads to increased bone strength

Osteopetrosis caused by defective acid secretion by the osteoclast, is characterized by defective bone resorption, increased osteoclast numbers, while bone formation is normal or increased. In contrast the bones are of poor quality, despite this uncoupling of formation from resorption.To shed light on the effect of uncoupling in adult mice with respect to bone strength, we transplanted irradiated three-month old normal mice with hematopoietic stem cells from control or oc/oc mice, which have defective acid secretion, and followed them for 12 to 28 weeks.Engraftment levels were assessed by flow cytometry of peripheral blood. Serum samples were collected every six weeks for measurement of bone turnover markers. At termination bones were collected for µCT and mechanical testing. An engraftment level of 98% was obtained. From week 6 until termination bone resorption was significantly reduced, while the osteoclast number was increased when comparing oc/oc to controls. Bone formation was elevated at week 6, normalized at week 12, and reduced onwards. µCT and mechanical analyses of femurs and vertebrae showed increased bone volume and bone strength of cortical and trabecular bone.In conclusion, these data show that attenuation of acid secretion in adult mice leads to uncoupling and improves bone strength

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
10. Feb 2012

Tumor necrosis factor-α and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand augment human macrophage foam-cell destruction of extracellular matrix through protease-mediated processes

By secreting proteases such as cathepsins and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), macrophage foam cells may be a major cause of ruptured atherosclerotic plaques. The aims of the present study were to investigate in vitro role of human macrophage foam cells in degrading type I collagen, a major component of extracellular matrix (ECM) in plaques, and to establish whether the pro-inflammatory molecules, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANK-L) increase this degradation. CD14+ monocytes isolated from peripheral blood were differentiated into macrophage foam cells and cultured on a type I collagen matrix in the presence of TNF-alpha and RANK-L. Matrix degradation was measured by the cathepsin K-generated C-terminal cross-linked telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-I) and the MMP-generated carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) in supernatants showing that macrophage foam cells secrete MMPs and cathepsin K, resulting in release of ICTP and CTX-I. Stimulation with TNF-alpha increased CTX-I and ICTP dose dependently, with ICTP levels increasing by 59% and CTX-I levels increasing by 43%. RANK-L enhanced the release of CTX-I and ICTP by 56% and 72%, respectively. This is, to our knowledge, the first data describing a simple in vitro system in which macrophage foam cells degradation of matrix proteins can be monitored. This degradation can be enhanced by cytokines since TNF-alpha and RANK-L significantly increased the matrix degradation. This in vitro system in part is a model system for the macrophage-mediated proteolytic degradation of the ECM, which is found in many diseases with an inflammatory component

Bone
7. Nov 2011

Use of bone turnover markers in clinical osteoporosis assessment in women: current issues and future options

Monitoring bone turnover of the adult and aging skeleton is essential for optimal treatment of bone metabolic diseases, such as postmenopausal osteoporosis. Diagnosis of osteoporosis is based solely on dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry-based measurements of bone mineral density. However, within the last 20 years, biochemical markers of bone turnover have been implemented to a larger degree, and especially within the field of drug development. Numerous clinical studies have underscored that the markers have promise in terms of predicting patients at high risk of losing bone, future fracture events and importantly also the fracture efficacy of drugs in development. Furthermore, while classical methods often require years to monitor the changes, the bone turnover markers do so within a shorter time span. The aims of this article are to provide an update on the different biochemical markers of bone turnover, and to give an overview of their applications in epidemiological and clinical research especially in women. The main emphasis will be on their utility in clinical trials testing the efficacy of drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis, and their ability to supplement bone mass measurements. Finally, recent evidence suggests that biochemical markers may provide information on bone age that may indirectly relate to bone quality, and this is discussed together with future possibilities for measuring bone quality using bone turnover markers. In summary, a more targeted use of biomarkers could assist in the identification of high-risk patients, the process of drug discovery and monitoring of the efficacy of osteoporosis treatment in clinical settings

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
16. Sep 2012

Oral salmon calcitonin attenuates hyperglycaemia and preserves pancreatic beta-cell area and function in Zucker diabetic fatty rats

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:
Oral salmon calcitonin (sCT), a dual-action amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist, improved glucose homeostasis in diet-induced obese rats. Here, we have evaluated the anti-diabetic efficacy of oral sCT using parameters of glycaemic control and beta-cell morphology in male Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats, a model of type 2 diabetes.

EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:
Male ZDF rats were treated with oral sCT (0.5, 1.0 or 2 mg·kg(-1) ) or oral vehicle twice daily from age 8 to 18 weeks. Zucker lean rats served as control group. Fasting and non-fasted blood glucose, glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c) and levels of pancreas and incretin hormones were determined. Oral glucose tolerance test and i.p. glucose tolerance test were compared, and beta-cell area and function were evaluated.

KEY RESULTS:
Oral sCT treatment dose-dependently attenuated fasting and non-fasted hyperglycaemia during the intervention period. At the end of the study period, oral sCT treatment by dose decreased diabetic hyperglycaemia by ∼9 mM and reduced HbA1c levels by 1.7%. Furthermore, a pronounced reduction in glucose excursions was dose-dependently observed for oral sCT treatment during oral glucose tolerance test. In addition, oral sCT treatment sustained hyperinsulinaemia and attenuated hyperglucagonaemia and hypersecretion of total glucagon-like peptide-1 predominantly in the basal state. Lastly, oral sCT treatment dose-dependently improved pancreatic beta-cell function and beta-cell area at study end.

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS:
Oral sCT attenuated diabetic hyperglycaemia in male ZDF rats by improving postprandial glycaemic control, exerting an insulinotropic and glucagonostatic action in the basal state and by preserving pancreatic beta-cell function and beta-cell area.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Feb 2013

Investigation of chondrocyte hypertrophy and cartilage calcification in a full-depth articular cartilage explants model

Articular cartilage deterioration, which includes cartilage degradation and chondrocyte hypertrophy, is a hallmark of degenerative joint diseases (DJD). Chondrocyte hypertrophy is initiated in the deep layer of the cartilage; thus, a robust explants model for investigation of hypertrophy should include this zone. The aim of this study was to characterize and investigate the hypertrophy-promoting potential of different endogenous factors on an ex vivo articular cartilage model. The full-depth cartilage explants were harvested from bovine femoral condyle and cultured for 13 days in different conditions: 10 ng/ml oncostatin M + 20 ng/ml TNF-α; 100 ng/ml IGF1; 10-100 ng/ml bFGF; 10-100 ng/ml BMP2; 50 μg/ml ascorbic acid in combination with 10 mM β-glycerophosphate; and 20-100 ng/ml triiodothyronine. The cellular activity and morphology, degradation, formation and calcification, and expression level of hypertrophic markers were investigated. The hypertrophic factors tested all induced cellular activity and marked morphological changes starting at day 4, however, not in a synchronized manner. Both cartilage degradation and formation were induced by T3 (P < 0.05). Only T3 had a full hypertrophic gene expression profile (P < 0.05). We developed and characterized a novel model for investigation of chondrocyte hypertrophy. We speculated that this can become an important investigatory tool for investigation of matrix turnover, chondrocyte hypertrophy and cartilage calcification that are associated with DJD pathogenesis

Bone
5. Apr 2012

Generation of human osteoclasts from peripheral blood

Osteoclasts are multi-nucleated cells that have the unique ability to resorb calcified bone matrix. They derive from haematopoietic precursor cells, and can be generated in vitro by stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells with the cytokines M-CSF and RANKL. In this chapter, we describe the method for generating human osteoclast from peripheral blood or buffy coats, as well as methods for studying both the differentiation and resorbing activity of these cells

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
12. Dec 2012

Will posttranslational modifications of brain proteins provide novel serological markers for dementias

Drug development for dementias is significantly hampered by the lack of easily accessible biomarkers. Fluid biomarkers of dementias provide indications of disease stage, but have little prognostic value, cannot detect early pathological changes, and can only be measured in CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) which significantly limits their applicability. In contrast, imaging based biomarkers can provide indications of probability of disease progression, yet are limited in applicability due to cost, radiation and radio-tracers. These aspects highlight the need for other approaches to the development of biomarkers of dementia, which should focus on not only providing information about pathological changes, but also on being measured easily and reproducibly. For other diseases, focus on development of assays monitoring highly specific protease-generated cleavage fragments of proteins has provided assays, which in serum or plasma have the ability to predict early pathological changes. Proteolytic processing of brain proteins, such as tau, APP, and α-synuclein, is a key pathological event in dementias. Here, we speculate that aiming biomarker development for dementias at detecting small brain protein degradation fragments of generated by brain-derived proteases specifically in blood samples could lead to the development of novel markers of disease progression, stage and importantly of treatment efficacy

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Jul 2012

The inhibitory effect of salmon calcitonin on tri-iodothyronine induction of early hypertrophy in articular cartilage

OBJECTIVE:
Salmon calcitonin has chondroprotective effect both in vitro and in vivo, and is therefore being tested as a candidate drug for cartilage degenerative diseases. Recent studies have indicated that different chondrocyte phenotypes may express the calcitonin receptor (CTR) differentially. We tested for the presence of the CTR in chondrocytes from tri-iodothyronin (T3)-induced bovine articular cartilage explants. Moreover, investigated the effects of human and salmon calcitonin on the explants.

METHODS:
Early chondrocyte hypertrophy was induced in bovine articular cartilage explants by stimulation over four days with 20 ng/mL T3. The degree of hypertrophy was investigated by molecular markers of hypertrophy (ALP, IHH, COLX and MMP13), by biochemical markers of cartilage turnover (C2M, P2NP and AGNxII) and histology. The expression of the CTR was detected by qPCR and immunohistochemistry. T3-induced explants were treated with salmon or human calcitonin. Calcitonin down-stream signaling was measured by levels of cAMP, and by the molecular markers.

RESULTS:
Compared with untreated control explants, T3 induction increased expression of the hypertrophic markers (p<0.05), of cartilage turnover (p<0.05), and of CTR (p<0.01). Salmon, but not human, calcitonin induced cAMP release (p<0.001). Salmon calcitonin also inhibited expression of markers of hypertrophy and cartilage turnover (p<0.05).

CONCLUSIONS:
T3 induced early hypertrophy of chondrocytes, which showed an elevated expression of the CTR and was thus a target for salmon calcitonin. Molecular marker levels indicated salmon, but not human, calcitonin protected the cartilage from hypertrophy. These results confirm that salmon calcitonin is able to modulate the CTR and thus have chondroprotective effects

Bone
16. Sep 2012

A specific subtype of osteoclasts secretes factors inducing nodule formation by osteoblasts

Osteoclasts are known to be important for the coupling process between bone resorption and formation. The aim of this study was to address when osteoclasts are anabolically active. Human monocytes were differentiated into mature osteoclasts by treatment with M-CSF and RANKL. Conditioned medium was collected from macrophages, pre-osteoclasts, and mature functional or non-resorbing osteopetrotic osteoclasts on either bone, plastic, decalcified bone or dentine with or without diphyllin, E64 or GM6001. Osteoclasts numbers were measured by TRACP activity. Bone resorption was evaluated by CTX-I and calcium release. The osteoblastic cell line 2T3 was treated with 50% of CM or non-CM for 12days. Bone formation was assessed by Alizarin Red extraction. CM from mature osteoclasts induced bone formation, while CM from macrophages did not. Non-resorbing osteoclasts generated from osteopetrosis patients showed little resorption, but still an induction of bone formation by osteoblasts. Mimicking the reduction in bone resorption using the V-ATPase inhibitor Diphyllin, the cysteine proteinase inhibitor E64 and the MMP-inhibitor GM6001 showed that CM from diphyllin and E64 treated osteoclasts showed reduced ability to induce bone formation compared to CM from vehicle treated osteoclasts, while CM from GM6001 treated osteoclasts equaled vehicle CM. Osteoclasts on either dentine or decalcified bone showed strongly attenuated anabolic capacities. In conclusion, we present evidence that osteoclasts, both dependent and independent of their resorptive activity, secrete factors stimulating osteoblastic bone formation

Bone
3. Mar 2013

Evaluation of the efficacy, safety and pharmacokinetic profile of oral recombinant human parathyroid hormone [rhPTH(1-31)NH(2)] in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis

CONTEXT:
Treatment of osteoporosis with subcutaneous (SC) injections of rhPTH(1-34) or rhPTH(1-84) is associated with significant improvements in BMD and reductions in osteoporotic fractures. However, subcutaneous injections can be associated with discomfort and thus deteriorating compliance.

OBJECTIVE:
The UGL-OR1001 trial aimed to establish the efficacy and safety parameters of a novel oral tablet formulation of rhPTH(1-31)NH(2) and matching placebo tablets and open-label teriparatide positive control in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.

DESIGN:
24 weeks of randomized, double-blind treatment with once daily doses of 5mg oral treatment or corresponding placebo, or open-label subcutaneous teriparatide.

PATIENTS OR OTHER PARTICIPANTS:
Women diagnosed with postmenopausal osteoporosis as detected by lumbar spine DXA, with an exclusion of those with prior treatment with bone active agents.

INTERVENTION(S):
Orally formulated recombinant human PTH(1-31)NH(2) and placebo, or open-label subcutaneous teriparatide as a positive control.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):
The primary endpoint was to characterize the percent change from baseline in bone mineral density (BMD) at L1-L4 axial lumbar spine after 24 weeks in the rhPTH(1-31)NH(2) arm. Secondary and exploratory endpoints included safety and tolerability of the oral formulation, measurement of biochemical markers of bone turnover, and evaluation of the PK profile at first and last dose. The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov with the identifier: NCT01321723.

RESULTS:
The oral tablet formulation of rhPTH(1-31)NH(2) resulted in similar PK profiles at both timepoints with mean C(max) values similar to subcutaneous administration. In the rhPTH(1-31)NH(2) arm, a 2.2% increase in lumbar spine BMD was observed compared to baseline (p<0.001), while no change was observed in the placebo arm. Open-label teriparatide resulted in a 5.1% increase in LS BMD (p<0.001). In the oral PTH study arm, the bone formation marker osteocalcin was increased by 32%, 21% and 23% at Weeks 4, 12 and 24, respectively. There was no significant increase in the level of the bone resorption marker CTx-1.

CONCLUSIONS:
In summary, these data demonstrate that enteric-coated oral tablet formulation technology consistently generated robust levels of exposure of rhPTH(1-31)NH(2) leading to induction of bone formation without inducing bone resorption resulting in significantly increased levels of LS BMD. Few adverse events were observed, recommending this orally delivered drug candidate for further development

Extracellular Matrix Research
11. Mar 2013

Extracellular matrix remodeling: the common denominator in connective tissue diseases. Possibilities for evaluation and current understanding of the matrix as more than a passive architecture, but a key player in tissue failure

Increased attention is paid to the structural components of tissues. These components are mostly collagens and various proteoglycans. Emerging evidence suggests that altered components and noncoded modifications of the matrix may be both initiators and drivers of disease, exemplified by excessive tissue remodeling leading to tissue stiffness, as well as by changes in the signaling potential of both intact matrix and fragments thereof. Although tissue structure until recently was viewed as a simple architecture anchoring cells and proteins, this complex grid may contain essential information enabling the maintenance of the structure and normal functioning of tissue. The aims of this review are to (1) discuss the structural components of the matrix and the relevance of their mutations to the pathology of diseases such as fibrosis and cancer, (2) introduce the possibility that post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as protease cleavage, citrullination, cross-linking, nitrosylation, glycosylation, and isomerization, generated during pathology, may be unique, disease-specific biochemical markers, (3) list and review the range of simple enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) that have been developed for assessing the extracellular matrix (ECM) and detecting abnormal ECM remodeling, and (4) discuss whether some PTMs are the cause or consequence of disease. New evidence clearly suggests that the ECM at some point in the pathogenesis becomes a driver of disease. These pathological modified ECM proteins may allow insights into complicated pathologies in which the end stage is excessive tissue remodeling, and provide unique and more pathology-specific biochemical markers

Extracellular Matrix Research
14. May 2009

Biochemical markers and the FDA Critical Path: how biomarkers may contribute to the understanding of pathophysiology and provide unique and necessary tools for drug development

The aim of this review is to discuss the potential usefulness of a novel class of biochemical markers, neoepitopes, in the context of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Critical Path Initiative, which emphasizes biomarkers of safety and efficacy as areas of pivotal interest. Examples of protein degradation fragments--neoepitopes--that have proven useful for research on bone and cartilage are collagen type I and collagen type II degradation products, respectively. These markers have utility in the translational approach, as they can be used to estimate safety and efficacy in both preclinical models and clinical settings. Biochemical markers of tissue degradation may provide optimal tools, which in combination with other techniques, prove essential to drug discovery and development

Endocrinology
4. Mar 2013

Serological muscle loss biomarkers: an overview of current concepts and future possibilities

BACKGROUND:
The skeletal muscle mass is the largest organ in the healthy body, comprising 30-40 % of the body weight of an adult man. It confers protection from trauma, locomotion, ventilation, and it represents a "sink" in glucose metabolism and a reservoir of amino acids to other tissues such as the brain and blood cells. Naturally, loss of muscle has dire consequences for health as well as functionality. Muscle loss is a natural consequence of especially aging, inactivity, and their associated metabolic dysfunction, but it is strongly accelerated in critical illness such as organ failure, sepsis, or cancer. Whether this muscle loss is considered a primary or secondary condition, it is known that muscle loss is a symptom that predicts morbidity and mortality and one that is known to impact quality of life and independence. Therefore, monitoring of muscle mass is relevant in a number of pathologies as well as in clinical trials as measures of efficacy as well as safety.

METHODS AND RESULTS:
Existing biomarkers of muscle mass or muscle loss have shown to be either too unreliable or too impractical in relation to the perceived clinical benefit to reach regular clinical research or use. We suggest serological neoepitope biomarkers as a possible technology to address some of these problems. Blood biomarkers of this kind have previously been shown to respond with high sensitivity and shorter time to minimum significant change than available biomarkers of muscle mass. We provide brief reviews of existing muscle mass or function biomarker technologies, muscle protein biology, and existing neoepitope biomarkers and proceed to present tentative recommendations on how to select and detect neoepitope biomarkers.

CONCLUSION:
We suggest that serological peptide biomarkers whose tissue and pathology specificity are derived from post-translational modification of proteins in tissues of interest, presenting so-called neoepitopes, represents an exciting candidate technology to fill out an empty niche in biomarker technology

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
4. Feb 2013

Oral salmon calcitonin protects against impaired fasting glycemia, glucose intolerance, and obesity induced by high-fat diet and ovariectomy in rats (1)

OBJECTIVE:
Oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The postmenopausal state is also associated with obesity-related insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the preventive effects of oral sCT on energy and glucose homeostasis in high-fat diet (HFD)- and ovariectomy (OVX)-induced obese rats. Furthermore, the weight-regulatory and gluco-regulatory effects of short-term oral sCT intervention on HFD-induced obese rats were explored.

METHODS:
For prevention, female rats exposed to HFD with or without OVX were treated with oral sCT for 5 weeks. As intervention, HFD-induced obese male rats were treated with oral sCT for 4 days. Body weight, food intake, and plasma glucose, insulin, and leptin levels were measured, and the clinical homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index was calculated. In addition, oral glucose tolerance was evaluated in the systemic and portal circulations.

RESULTS:
For prevention, oral sCT reduced body weight by ∼16% to 19% (P < 0.001), reduced plasma insulin and leptin by ∼50%, and improved impaired fasting glycemia (P < 0.05) concomitantly with amelioration of IR (HOMA-IR; P < 0.01) in HFD- and OVX-induced obesity. Furthermore, oral sCT significantly reduced the incremental area under the curve for plasma glucose and insulin by ∼40% and ∼70%, respectively, during glucose tolerance testing. As intervention in HFD-induced obese rats, oral sCT reduced body weight, fasting glycemia, and insulinemia in conjunction with HOMA-IR (P < 0.001). Finally, oral sCT alleviated glucose intolerance predominantly in the portal circulation.

CONCLUSIONS:
Oral sCT treatment displays weight-regulatory and glucoregulatory efficacy in HFD- and OVX-induced obese rats, indicating the clinical usefulness of oral sCT in postmenopausal obesity-related IR and type 2 diabetes.

Endocrinology
29. May 2013

Menopause, estrogens and frailty

The controversy surrounding the results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) trials published a decade ago caused a significant decline in the use of menopausal hormone replacement therapy. However, these results have been vehemently contested and several lines of evidence suggest that in perimenopausal and non-obese women, estrogen therapy may indeed be of benefit. There is ample proof that menopause causes a loss of musculoskeletal tissue mass and quality, thereby causing a loss of health and quality of life. There is also solid evidence that hormone replacement therapy in itself prevents most of these effects in connective tissue in itself. Besides the independent, direct effects on the musculoskeletal tissues, estrogen deficiency also reduces the ability to adequately respond and adapt to external mechanical and metabolic stressors, e.g. exercise, which are otherwise the main stimuli that should maintain musculoskeletal integrity and metabolic function. Thus, normophysiological estrogen levels appear to exert a permissive effect on musculoskeletal adaptations to loading, thereby likely improving the outcome of rehabilitation following critical illness, musculoskeletal trauma or orthopedic surgical therapy. These effects add to the evidence supporting the use of estrogen therapy, particularly accelerated gain of functional capacity and independence following musculoskeletal disuse

Bone, Osteoporosis
1. Oct 2006

An update on biomarkers of bone turnover and their utility in biomedical research and clinical practice

BACKGROUND:
Maintenance of the structural and functional integrity of the skeleton is a critical function of a continuous remodeling driven by highly associated processes of bone resorption and synthetic activities driven by osteoclasts and osteoblasts, respectively. Acceleration of bone turnover, accompanied with a disruption of the coupling between these cellular activities, plays an established role in the pathogenesis of metabolic bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. During the past decades, major efforts have been dedicated to the development and clinical assessment of biochemical markers that can reflect the rate of bone turnover. Numerous studies have provided evidence that serum levels or urinary excretion of these biomarkers correlate with the rate of bone loss and fracture risk, proving them as useful tools for improving identification of high-risk patients.

OBJECTIVE:
The aim of the present review is to give an update on biomarkers of bone turnover and give an overview of their applications in epidemiological and clinical research.

DISCUSSION:
Special attention is given to their utility in clinical trials testing the efficacy of drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis and how they supplement bone mass measurements. Recent evidence suggests that biochemical markers may provide information on bone age that may have indirectly relates to bone quality; the latter is receiving increasing attention. A more targeted use of biomarkers could further optimize identification of high-risk patients, the process of drug discovery, and monitoring of the efficacy of osteoporosis treatment in clinical settings

Oncology, Bone
15. Jul 2006

Alpha CTX as a biomarker of skeletal invasion of breast cancer: immunolocalization and the load dependency of urinary excretion

We recently showed that increased urinary excretion of the cross-linked, nonisomerized form of the C-telopeptide of collagen type I (alphaalphaCTX) could be a sensitive indicator of the presence of bone metastases in breast cancer patients. The present study was sought to investigate (a) the localization of alphaCTX epitopes in the proximity of a bone metastasis and (b) the relationship between number of metastases and the urinary excretion of alphaalphaCTX. Adjacent bone sections from breast cancer patients were stained for the presence of tumor cells (anti-cytokeratin antibody), osteoclasts (TRAcP activity), and alphaCTX (anti-alphaCTX antibody). The association between the extent of metastatic bone disease and urinary excretion of alphaalphaCTX measured with ELISA was assessed in 90 breast cancer patients (45 with bone metastasis and 45 without bone metastasis). Immunohistochemistry revealed accumulation of TRAcP-positive osteoclasts and intense staining for alphaCTX epitopes in the proximity of cytokeratin-positive bone metastasis. Areas of alphaCTX staining showed unstructured bone tissue under polarized light. In addition, there was a significant linear association between the number of bone metastases and the urinary levels of alphaalphaCTX in breast cancer patients with metastatic bone disease, independent of age and body mass index (r = 0.56, P < 0.001). The estimated relative increases in alphaalphaCTX associated with the presence of one, two, or three metastases are 38%, 57%, and 81%, respectively. Taken into account the 17% intraindividual variation of the assay, alphaalphaCTX could be a sensitive biochemical marker for the close monitoring of cancer patients aiming the facilitation of early metastasis detection

Bone, Osteoporosis
19. Mar 2008

Bone turnover and bone collagen maturation in osteoporosis: effects of antiresorptive therapies

Bone collagen maturation may be important for anti-fracture efficacy as the reduction in risk is only partly explained by a concomitant increase in BMD during anti-resorptive therapy. Different treatments caused diverse profiles in bone collagen degradation products, which may have implications for bone quality.

INTRODUCTION:
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of different anti-resorptive treatments on bone collagen maturation measured as the ratio between the degradation products of newly synthesized and mature isomerized C-telopeptides of type I collagen.

METHODS:
Participants were from cohorts of healthy postmenopausal women participating in double blind, placebo-controlled 2-year studies of alendronate, ibandronate, intranasal hormone replacement therapy (HRT), oral HRT, transdermal HRT, or raloxifene (n = 427). The non-isomerized alphaalphaCTX and isomerized betabetaCTX were measured in urine samples obtained at baseline, and after 6, 12, and 24 months of therapy.

RESULTS:
Bone collagen maturation measured as the ratio between alphaalphaCTX and betabetaCTX showed that bisphosphonate treatment induced a collagen profile consistent with an older matrix with a 52% (alendronate) and 38% (ibandronate) reduction in the ratio between the two CTX isoforms vs. 3% and 15% with HRT or raloxifene, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:
Anti-resorptive treatments had different effects on the endogenous profile of bone collagen maturation. Whether that effect on bone collagen has an impact on bone strength independent on the treatment-dependent effect on BMD should be investigated

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
13. Feb 2008

Evaluation of cartilage damage by measuring collagen degradation products in joint extracts in a traumatic model of osteoarthritis

The objective of this work was to investigate whether collagen degradation products in protein extract from joints could provide quantitative information on cartilage damage. Osteoarthritis (OA) was surgically induced in rat knee joints. Joints were isolated 7, 14 and 28 days after surgery for protein extraction and histology. C-terminal telopeptide of type III collagen (CTX-II), CTX-I and hydroxyproline were measured in protein extracts. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9 activity was evaluated by gelatinase zymography and joint pathology was visualized by histology and immunohistochemistry. The results showed that levels of CTX-II were significantly increased in anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT)-operated compared with sham-operated knee joints on days 7 and 28, whereas the levels of hydroxyproline and CTX-I epitopes showed no difference. MMP activity was slightly increased in ACLT-operated joints. The CTX-II epitope was highly expressed and co-localized to damaged articular cartilage in ACLT-operated joints. We have therefore demonstrated an increased type II collagen degradation in knees after surgical induction of OA, and propose assessment of collagen degradation epitopes as a quantitative measure of cartilage damage

Bone, Osteoporosis
17. May 2008

Biochemical markers for monitoring response to therapy: evidence for higher bone specificity by a novel marker compared with routine markers

The aim of the present study was to compare a novel marker for high bone turnover with two routine markers for screening in prostate cancer patients. The markers were evaluated in two studies: (a) a cross-sectional study of 170 prostate cancer patients with local disease stratified by +/-lymph node metastases (N 0, N1) compared with controls and (b) a longitudinal study of 40 hormone refractory prostate cancer patients stratified by skeletal involvement and followed during docetaxel (+/-BM) and zoledronate (+BM) treatment. Presence or absence of bone metastases (BM) was assessed by imaging techniques (magnetic resonance imaging or X-ray) and technetium-99m scintigraphy. The serum or urinary levels of alpha C-telopeptide of collagen type I (alphaalphaCTX), prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and total alkaline phosphatase (tALP) were assessed. PSA was elevated in both N 0 and N1 patients compared with controls, whereas alphaalphaCTX was elevated only in N1 patients. tALP exhibited no difference in any of the groups. In the treatment study, PSA decreased with treatment in both the -BM and +BM groups compared with baseline values, showing similar effect of docetaxel or docetaxel/zoledronate treatment on this marker. On the contrary, alphaalphaCTX and tALP did not decrease with docetaxel treatment in the -BM group compared with baseline, whereas it decreased significantly with docetaxel/zoledronate treatment in the +BM group, already after 1 month of treatment for alphaalphaCTX. Results suggest that alphaalphaCTX is superior to PSA and tALP for identifying patients having a high risk of metastatic disease and for monitoring skeletal progression in +BM prostate cancer patients during treatment

Oncology, Bone
27. Jun 2008

Does increased local bone resorption secondary to breast and prostate cancer result in increased cartilage degradation?

BACKGROUND:

Breast and prostate cancer patients often develop lesions of locally high bone turnover, when the primary tumor metastasizes to the bone causing an abnormal high bone resorption at this site. The objective of the present study was to determine whether local increased bone turnover in breast and prostate cancer patients is associated with an increase in cartilage degradation and to test in vitro whether osteoclasts or cathepsin K alone generate CTXII from human bone.

METHODS:
The study included 132 breast and prostate cancer patient, where presence of bone metastases was graded according to the Soloway score. Total bone resorption (CTXItotal) and cartilage degradation (CTXII) were determined.

RESULTS:
Breast and prostate cancer patients with bone metastases revealed significant increased levels of CTXItotal at Soloway scores 1 and higher compared to patients without bone metastases (p < 0.001). CTXII was statistically elevated at score 3 and 4 (p < 0.01). CTXII/CTXItotal significantly decreased at score 3 and 4 (p < 0.001). Levels of CTXItotal, CTXII and CTXII/CTXItotal changed +900%, +130%, and -90%, respectively at Soloway score 4 compared to score 0. The in vitro experiments revealed that osteoclasts released CTXI fragments but not CTXII from bone specimens. The same was observed for cathepsin K.

CONCLUSION:
Data suggest that an uncoupling between bone resorption and cartilage degradation occurs in breast and lung cancer patient

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
3. Mar 2013

Protein fingerprinting of the extracellular matrix remodelling in a rat model of liver fibrosis--a serological evaluation

BACKGROUND/AIM:
We investigated nine novel biomarkers of extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling in a rat model of liver fibrosis.

METHODS:
Liver fibrosis was induced in 52 male Wistar rats by inhalation of carbon tetrachloride and the level of hepatic fibrosis was assessed by Sirius red staining compared with controls. The novel serum biochemical markers assessed in the model were type I-(C1M), type III-(C3M), type IV-(C4M) and type VI-(C6M) collagen, citrullinated vimentin (VICM) and biglycan (BGM) all protein fragments generated by matrix metalloproteinases; and formation markers of type III-(P3NP), type VI (P4NP 7S) and type V (P5CP) collagen; hepatic mRNA type I collagen alpha-1 chain levels, serum potassium, sodium, osmolarity, alanine aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, albumin and creatinine.

RESULTS:
Stratification of the CCl(4) -treated rats according to total hepatic collagen showed that the degradation markers were significantly elevated in mild to severe fibrosis except for C6M which was also elevated in early fibrosis (P < 0.05). The highest Z-scores in early and moderate fibrosis were provided by P4NP 7S and alanine aminotransferase. All nine markers of ECM remodelling were highly related to the extent of liver fibrosis induced by CCl(4) . The novel collagen formation marker, P4NP 7S, was reliable for the detection of early fibrosis, while the combination of the two markers, C6M and P5CP provided the best correlation with hepatic fibrosis in all fibrosis levels.

CONCLUSION:
As the markers can be used for translational science, these markers may provide valuable information for the evaluation of liver fibrosis in clinical settings.

Bone, Osteoporosis
20. Sep 2009

Is bone quality associated with collagen age?

The World Health Organization defines osteoporosis as a systemic disease characterized by decreased bone tissue mass and microarchitectural deterioration, resulting in increased fracture risk. Since this statement, a significant amount of data has been generated showing that these two factors do not cover all risks for fracture. Other independent clinical factors, such as age, as well as aspects related to qualitative changes in bone tissue, are believed to play an important role. The term "bone quality" encompasses a variety of parameters, including the extent of mineralization, the number and distribution of microfractures, the extent of osteocyte apoptosis, and changes in collagen properties. The major mechanism controlling these qualitative factors is bone remodeling, which is tightly regulated by the osteoclast/osteoblast activity. We focus on the relationship between bone remodeling and changes in collagen properties, especially the extent of one posttranslational modification. In vivo, measurements of the ratio between native and isomerized C-telopeptides of type I collagen provides an index of bone matrix age. Current preclinical and clinical studies suggests that this urinary ratio provides information about bone strength and fracture risk independent of bone mineral density and that it responds differently according to the type of therapy regulating bone turnover

Bone, Osteoporosis
1. Jun 2010

Alterations in osteoclast function and phenotype induced by different inhibitors of bone resorption--implications for osteoclast quality

BACKGROUND:
Normal osteoclasts resorb bone by secretion of acid and proteases. Recent studies of patients with loss of function mutations affecting either of these processes have indicated a divergence in osteoclastic phenotypes. These difference in osteoclast phenotypes may directly or indirectly have secondary effects on bone remodeling, a process which is of importance for the pathogenesis of both osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. We treated human osteoclasts with different inhibitors and characterized their resulting function.

METHODS:
Human CD14 + monocytes were differentiated into mature osteoclasts using RANKL and M-CSF. The osteoclasts were cultured on bone in the presence or absence of various inhibitors: Inhibitors of acidification (bafilomycin A1, diphyllin, ethoxyzolamide), inhibitors of proteolysis (E64, GM6001), or a bisphosphonate (ibandronate). Osteoclast numbers and bone resorption were monitored by measurements of TRACP activity, the release of calcium, CTX-I and ICTP, as well as by counting resorption pits.

RESULTS:
All inhibitors of acidification were equally potent with respect to inhibition of both organic and inorganic resorption. In contrast, inhibition of proteolysis by E64 potently reduced organic resorption, but only modestly suppressed inorganic resorption. GM6001 alone did not greatly affect bone resorption. However, when GM6001 and E64 were combined, a complete abrogation of organic bone resorption was observed, without a great effect on inorganic resorption. Ibandronate abrogated both organic and inorganic resorption at all concentrations tested [0.3-100 microM], however, this treatment dramatically reduced TRACP activity.

CONCLUSIONS:
We present evidence highlighting important differences with respect to osteoclast function, when comparing the different types of osteoclast inhibitors. Each class of osteoclast inhibitors will lead to different alterations in osteoclast quality, which secondarily may lead to different bone qualities

Bone, Osteoporosis
5. Oct 2010

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent serum assays (ELISAs) for rat and human N-terminal pro-peptide of collagen type I (PINP)--assessment of corresponding epitopes

OBJECTIVES:
The present study describes two newly developed N-terminal pro-peptides of collagen type I (PINP) competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for the assessment of corresponding PINP epitopes in the rat- and human species.

METHODS:
Monoclonal antibodies were raised against corresponding rat and human PINP sequences and competitive assays were developed for each species. They were evaluated in relevant pre-clinical or clinical studies.

RESULTS:
The antibody characterizations indicated that PINP indeed was recognized. Technical robust assays were obtained. Rat PINP and tALP showed similar patterns in the gold standard osteoporosis rat ovariectomized (OVX) model. No liver contribution was observed in the liver fibrosis rat bile duct ligation model (BDL). In an osteoporosis study, the human serum PINP levels were significantly decreased after ibandronate treatment compared to placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:
The two corresponding PINP assays were specific and these bone turnover markers may improve translational science for the evaluation for bone-related diseases

Extracellular Matrix Research
16. May 2011

Post-translational modifications of the extracellular matrix are key events in cancer progression: opportunities for biochemical marker development

The aim of this review is to discuss the potential usefulness of a novel class of biochemical markers, designated neoepitopes. Neoepitopes are post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins and are derived by processes, such as protease cleavage, citrullination, nitrosylation, glycosylation and isomerization. Each PTM results from a specific local physiological or pathobiological process. Identification of each modification to a tissue-specific protein may reveal a unique disease-specific biochemical marker. During cancer metastasis, the host tissue is extensively degraded and replaced by cancer-associated extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. Furthermore, severe cellular stress and inflammation, caused by cancer, results in generation of PTMs, which will be distributed throughout the ECM. This gives rise to release of protein-specific fragments to the circulation. Here we highlight the importance of remodeling of the ECM in cancer and the generation of PTMs, which may be cancer specific and reflect disease progression; thus having potential for biochemical marker development

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
24. Mar 2011

Measurement of CO3-610, a potential liver biomarker derived from matrix metalloproteinase-9 degradation of collagen type iii, in a rat model of reversible carbon-tetrachloride-induced fibrosis

BACKGROUND AND AIM:
The current study utilized a carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4))-induced liver fibrosis model to measure levels of the MMP9-mediated collagen type III degradation fragment CO3-610 (site of cleavage: KNGETGPQGP), during disease progression and regression, and to investigate a potential prognostic role of the biomarker.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
72 female Sprague-Dawley rats aged 6 months old were injected with CCl(4) twice a week over different periods of time to induce varying degrees of liver fibrosis. After 4, 6 and 8 weeks of treatment, administration of CCl(4) was stopped. The 6- and 8-week treatment groups were left to regress for a further 6 or 12 weeks at which point they were sacrificed and livers removed and sectioned. Liver fibrosis was quantified using Visiopharm software to analyse Sirius red-stained sections. Serum levels of CO3-610 were measured in all animals using an ELISA assay as described by Barascuk et al.1

RESULTS:
Quantitative histology revealed total collagen deposition in the liver increased as fibrosis progressed. In animals treated with CCl(4) for 4 weeks, collagen comprised on average 4.94% of the total tissue in liver sections, while after 6 weeks the mean was 8.25%, and after 8 weeks, 9.11%. During the regression phase, the total collagen deposition gradually decreased to a mean of 6.9% and 5.09% for animals regressing 6 and 12 weeks respectively after 6 weeks treatment, and 6.27% for animals regressed 12 weeks after 8 weeks treatment. CO3-610 values increased progressively in rats treated for 4 weeks (by a mean of 55.0 ng/ml), 6 weeks (mean 61.1 ng/ml) and 8 weeks (mean 70.2 ng/ml). During the regression phase, CO3-610 values rapidly decreased by a mean of 28.9 ng/ml at 6 weeks and 21.6 ng/ml at 12 weeks in animals previously treated for 6 weeks, and by a mean of 19.52 ng/ml in animals treated for 8 weeks and regressed for 12 weeks. CO3-610 levels were statistically significantly correlated with total collagen during disease progression (r = 0.5701, P < 0.0001). No statistically significant correlation was observed during regression (r = 0.2081, P = 0.1138).

CONCLUSION:
Levels of the MMP-9 generated fragment of collagen type III, CO3-610, correlated with the degree of liver fibrosis in rats during the progression phase, but were not correlated with total collagen levels during regression. CO3-610 seems to be produced only under the CCL(4) stimulus, and signifies CO3-610 as a potential marker of progression rather than regression. The corresponding steep elevations in levels of CO3-610 total collagen and collagen type III during liver fibrosis progression underline a potential prognostic capacity of the biomarker

Oncology, Bone
3. Mar 2011

Serum N-Terminal Propeptide of Collagen Type I is Associated with the Number of Bone Metastases in Breast and Prostate Cancer and Correlates to Other Bone Related Markers

BACKGROUND:
A number of biomarkers have been proven potentially useful for their ability to indicate bone metastases (BM) in cancer patients. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative utility of a newly developed N-terminal propeptide of collagen type I (PINP) human serum assay for the detection of BM in cancer patients. This assay has a corresponding rat PINP assay which in the future might help in translational science between rodent and human trials.

METHODS:
Participants were 161 prostate, lung and breast cancer patients stratified by number of BM (Soloway score). PINP was assessed and correlated to number of BM. Additionally, the PINP marker was correlated to bone resorption of young (ALPHA CTX-I)- and aged bone (BETA CTX-I); number of osteoclasts (Tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase 5b, TRACP5B) and osteoclast activity (CTX-I/ TRACP5B).

RESULTS:
PINP was significantly elevated in breast- and prostate cancer patients +BM, compared to -BM (P < 0.001), however not in lung cancer patients. A strong linear association was seen between PINP and the number of BMs. Significant elevation of PINP was observed at Soloway scores 1-4 (<0 BM) compared with score 0 (0 BM) (P < 0.001). The correlation between bone resorption of young bone or aged bone and bone formation was highly significant in patients +BM and -BM (P < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:
Data suggest that the present PINP potentially could determine skeletal involvement in patients with breast or prostate cancer. Correlations suggested that coupling between bone resorption and bone formation was maintained in breast- and prostate cancer patients

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
16. Oct 2011

A novel marker for assessment of liver matrix remodeling: an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detecting a MMP generated type I collagen neo-epitope (C1M)

A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of a type I collagen fragment generated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) -2, -9 and -13, was developed (CO1-764 or C1M). The biomarker was evaluated in two preclinical rat models of liver fibrosis: bile duct ligation (BDL) and carbon tetra chloride (CCL4)-treated rats. The assay was further evaluated in a clinical study of prostate-, lung- and breast-cancer patients stratified according to skeletal metastases. A technically robust ELISA assay specific for a MMP-2, -9 and -13 neo-epitope was produced and seen to be statistically elevated in BDL rats compared to baseline levels as well as significantly elevated in CCL4 rats stratified according to the amount of total collagen in the livers. CO1-764 levels also correlated significantly with total liver collagen and type I collagen mRNA expression in the livers. Finally, the CO1-764 marker was not correlated with skeletal involvement or number of bone metastases. This ELISA has the potential to assess the degree of liver fibrosis in a non-invasive manner

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
5. Apr 2012

Circulating levels of citrullinated and MMP-degraded vimentin (VICM) in liver fibrosis related pathology

AIM:
To investigate whether increased levels of vimentin citrullinated peptides identified by MS in articular cartilage can be measured in pathologies other than rheumatoid arthritis and be utilised for diagnostic purposes.

METHODS:
A monoclonal antibody against the sequence RLRSSVPGV-citrulline (VICM) was developed and evaluated in a carbon tetrachloride (CCl(4)) (n=52 + 28 controls) rat model of liver fibrosis and two clinical cohorts of adult patients with hepatitis C (HCV) (n=92) and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) (n=62), and compared to healthy controls.

RESULTS:
In CCl(4)-treated rats, mean systemic VICM levels increased 31% at week 12 (176 ng/mL, P<0.001), 41.7% at weeks 16 (190 ng/mL, P<0.001), 49.2% at weeks 20 (200 ng/ml, P<0.001), compared to controls (134 ng/mL). VICM levels correlated with total hepatic collagen determined by Sirius red staining of rat livers (r=0.75, P<0.05). In the HCV cohort, when stratified according to the METAVIR F score, VICM levels were 63% higher in F0 (632 ng/mL ±75, p<0.05), 54% in F1 (597 ng/mL ±41.3, p<0.05) and 62% in F2 (628 ng/mL ±59, p<0.05) all compared to controls. In the NAFLD cohort, VICM levels were 20.6% higher in F0 (339 ±12 ng/mL, P<0.05), 23.8% in F1 (348 ±12 ng/mL, P<0.05) and 28.8% in F2 (362 ±25 P<0.05).

CONCLUSION:
We demonstrated increased serological levels of citrullinated and MMP degraded vimentin in an animal model of liver fibrosis and in early fibrosis associated with HCV and NAFLD patients. These data suggest that citrullinated and MMP degraded proteins are also present in liver fibrosis

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
16. May 2012

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent serum assay specific for the 7S domain of Collagen Type IV (P4NP 7S): A marker related to the extracellular matrix remodeling during liver fibrogenesis

AIM:
  The present study describes the ability of a newly developed N-terminal pro-peptides of type IV collagen 7S domain (P4NP 7S) competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for describing liver fibrosis. The assay applies a monoclonal antibody specific for a PIVNP 7S epitope 100% homologous in the human, rat, and mouse species.

METHODS:
  Monoclonal antibodies were raised against selected P4NP 7S specific sequences. Antibodies were screened and a competitive ELISA assay was developed using a selected antibody. The assay was evaluated in relation to technical performance, and in two preclinical liver fibrosis models; the bile duct ligation model (BDL) and the carbon tetrachloride model (CCL4) both performed in rats.

RESULTS:
  A technically robust P4NP 7S ELISA assay using a monoclonal antibody was produced. In the BDL and CCL4 liver fibrosis models it was observed that the P4NP 7S levels were significantly elevated in rat with liver fibrosis as seen by histology (CCL4: 283% elevated in the highest quartile of total hepatic collagen compared with controls, P = 0.001; BDL: 183% elevated at week 4 compared with sham, P < 0.001) and correlated to the amount of hepatic type IV collagen expression in BDL rats (r = 0.49, P < 0.05) in contrast to sham (r = -0.12). P4NP 7S also correlated to total collagen in CCL4 treated livers (P < 0.001, r = 0.67), however, not in controls (r = 0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:
  This newly developed serum assay specific for P4NP 7S was highly related to liver fibrosis and correlated to extent of hepatic fibrosis. This assay may improve fibrosis quantification

Respiratory System, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
20. Jul 2012

Measurement of MMP-9 and -12 degraded elastin (ELM) provides unique information on lung tissue degradation

BACKGROUND:
Elastin is an essential component of selected connective tissues that provides a unique physiological elasticity. Elastin may be considered a signature protein of lungs where matrix metalloprotease (MMP) -9-and -12, may be considered the signature proteases of the macrophages, which in part are responsible for tissue damage during disease progression. Thus, we hypothesized that a MMP-9/-12 generated fragment of elastin may be a relevant biochemical maker for lung diseases.

METHODS:
Elastin fragments were identified by mass-spectrometry and one sequence, generated by MMP-9 and -12 (ELN-441), was selected for monoclonal antibody generation and used in the development of an ELISA. Soluble and insoluble elastin from lung was cleaved in vitro and the time-dependent release of fragments was assessed in the ELN-441 assay. The release of ELN-441 in human serum from patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (n = 10) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) (n = 29) were compared to healthy matched controls (n = 11).

RESULTS:
The sequence ELN-441 was exclusively generated by MMP-9 and -12 and was time-dependently released from soluble lung elastin. ELN-441 levels were 287% higher in patients diagnosed with COPD (p < 0.001) and 124% higher in IPF patients (p < 0.0001) compared with controls. ELN-441 had better diagnostic value in COPD patients (AUC 97%, p = 0.001) than in IPF patients (AUC 90%, p = 0.0001). The odds ratios for differentiating controls from COPD or IPF were 24 [2.06-280] for COPD and 50 [2.64-934] for IPF.

CONCLUSIONS:
MMP-9 and -12 time-dependently released the ELN-441 epitope from elastin. This fragment was elevated in serum from patients with the lung diseases IPF and COPD, however these data needs to be validated in larger clinical settings

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
13. Dec 2012

Phosphodiesterase inhibition mediates matrix metalloproteinase activity and the level of collagen degradation fragments in a liver fibrosis ex vivo rat model

BACKGROUND:
Accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) and increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity are hallmarks of liver fibrosis. The aim of the present study was to develop a model of liver fibrosis combining ex vivo tissue culture of livers from CCl(4) treated animals with an ELISA detecting a fragment of type III collagen generated in vitro by MMP-9 (C3M), known to be associated with liver fibrosis and to investigate cAMP modulation of MMP activity and liver tissue turnover in this model.

FINDINGS:
In vivo: Rats were treated for 8 weeks with CCl(4)/Intralipid. Liver slices were cultured for 48 hours. Levels of C3M were determined in the supernatants of slices cultured without treatment, treated with GM6001 (positive control) or treated with IBMX (phosphodiesterase inhibitor). Enzymatic activity of MMP-2 and MMP-9 were studied by gelatin zymography. Ex vivo: The levels of serum C3M increased 77% in the CCl(4)-treated rats at week 8 (p < 0.01); Levels of C3M increased significantly by 100% in fibrotic liver slices compared to controls after 48 hrs (p < 0.01). By adding GM6001 or IBMX to the media, C3M was restored to control levels. Gelatin zymography demonstrated CCl(4)-treated animals had highly increased MMP-9, but not MMP-2 activity, compared to slices derived from control animals.

CONCLUSIONS:
We have combined an ex vivo model of liver fibrosis with measurement of a biochemical marker of collagen degradation in the condition medium. This technology may be used to evaluate the molecular process leading to structural fibrotic changes, as collagen species are the predominant structural part of fibrosis. These data suggest that modulation of cAMP may play a role in regulation of collagen degradation associated with liver fibrosis

Respiratory System, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
11. Jul 2012

Serological investigation of the collagen degradation profile of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

In both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), abnormally high collagen remodeling occurs within the lung tissue. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-degraded type I, III, IV, V and VI collagen and a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs (ADAMTS)-degraded type III collagen were assessed in serum of patients diagnosed with mild COPD (n = 10) or IPF (n = 30), and healthy controls (n = 15). The collagen degradation markers C1M, C3M, C5M and C6M were significantly elevated in serum of both mild COPD and IPF patients, versus controls. C3A and C4M were only elevated in patients with mild COPD, compared with controls. The most reliable indicators of mild COPD versus controls were: C1M (area under the receiver-operating characteristics (AUROC = 0.94, P < 0.0001), C3M (AUROC = 0.95, P < 0.0001), and C5M (AUROC = 0.95, P < 0.0001). The most reliable markers for the diagnosis of IPF were achieved by C1M (AUROC = 0.90, P < 0.0001) and C3M (AUROC = 0.93, P < 0.0001). Collagen degradation was highly up-regulated in patients with IPF and mild COPD, indicating that degradation fragments of collagens are potential markers of pulmonary diseases. Interestingly, C4M and C3A were only elevated in patients with mild COPD, indicating that these markers could be used to distinguish between the two pathologies

Hepatic System, Extracellular Matrix Research
3. Jan 2012

Molecular serum markers of liver fibrosis

Fibrosis is a hallmark histologic event of chronic liver diseases and is characterized by the excessive accumulation and reorganization of the extracellular matrix (ECM). The gold standard for assessment of fibrosis is liver biopsy. As this procedure has various limitations, including risk of patient injury and sampling error, a non-invasive serum marker for liver fibrosis is desirable. The increasing understanding of the pathogenesis of hepatic fibrosis has suggested several markers which could be useful indicators of hepatic fibrogenesis and fibrosis. These markers include serum markers of liver function, ECM synthesis, fibrolytic processes, ECM degradation and fibrogenesis related cytokines. Recently, neo-epitopes, which are post-translational modifications of proteins, have been successfully used in bone and cartilage diseases which are characterized by extensive ECM remodeling. Increasing numbers of studies are being undertaken to identify neo-epitopes generated during liver fibrosis, and which ultimately might be useful for diagnosing and monitoring fibrogenesis. To date, the metalloproteinases generated fragment of collagen I, III, IV and VI have been proven to be elevated in two rat models of fibrosis. This review summarizes the recent efforts that have been made to identify potentially reliable non-invasive serum markers. We used the recently proposed BIPED (Burden of disease, Investigative, Prognostic, Efficacy and Diagnostic) system to characterize potential serum markers and neo-epitope markers that have been identified to date

Rheumatology, Systemic Sclerosis
29. Mar 2011

Measurement of matrix metalloproteinase 9-mediated collagen type III degradation fragment as a marker of skin fibrosis

BACKGROUND:
The current study utilized a Bleomycin-induced model of skin fibrosis to investigate the neo-epitope CO3-610 (KNGETGPQGP), a fragment of collagen III released during matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP9) degradation of the protein, we have previously described as a novel biomarker for liver fibrosis. The aim was to investigate CO3-610 levels in another well characterised model of fibrosis, to better describe the biomarker in relation to additional fibrotic pathologies.

METHODS:
Skin fibrosis was induced by daily injections of Bleomycin to a total of 52 female C3 H mice, while control mice (n = 28) were treated with phosphate buffered saline (PBS), for 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks. Skin fibrosis was evaluated using Visiopharm software on Sirius-red stained skin sections. Urine ELISA assays and creatinine corrections were performed to measure CO3-610 levels.

RESULTS:
CO3-610 levels were significantly higher in Bleomycin-treated vs. PBS-treated mice at each time point of termination. The mean increases were: 59.2%, P < 0.0008, at 2 weeks; 113.5%, P < 0.001, at 4 weeks; 136.8%, P < 0.0001 at 6 weeks; 157.2%, P < 0.0001 at 8 weeks). PBS-treated mice showed a non-significant increase in CO3-610 levels (mean increase for weeks 2-8 = 1.7%, P = 0.789) CO3-610 levels assayed in urine were statistically significantly correlated with Western blot analysis showing increased skin fibrosis (P < 0.0001, r = 0.65).

CONCLUSION:
Increased levels in mouse urine of the MMP-9 mediated collagen III degradation fragment CO3-610 were correlated with skin fibrosis progression, suggesting that CO3-610 may be a potential positive biomarker to study the pathogenesis of skin fibrosis in mice

Rheumatology, Rheumatoid Arthritis
5. Feb 2014

Effect of tocilizumab combined with methotrexate on circulating biomarkers of synovium, cartilage, and bone in the LITHE study (1)

OBJECTIVE:
We investigated the effects of tocilizumab (TCZ) on joint tissue remodeling in patients with moderate to severely active RA by measuring tissue-specific biomarker.

METHODS:
The LITHE biomarker study (n = 740) was a phase III study of 4- and 8-mg/kg TCZ in combination with MTX. Early response was evaluated at week 16 as ±20% improvement in swollen/tender joint counts; and ACR50 was evaluated at week 52. Biomarkers (tissue inflammation: C3M, CRPM, and VICM; cartilage degradation: C2M; and bone turnover: CTx and osteocalcin) were tested in serum from baseline, week 4, 16, 24, and 52, and dose-dependent effect was investigated. Patients were divided into the following three groups: early non-responders (ENR), ACR50 responders, and non-responders; their biomarker profiles were compared.

RESULTS:
At week 52, CRP was inhibited to 4% and 40% of baseline by TCZ8 and TCZ4, respectively. CRPM (63%), C2M (84%), C3M (69%), and VICM (42%) were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced by TCZ8, but not by TCZ4. MMP3 and osteocalcin changed to <58% and >111%, respectively, in response to TCZ. CTx was not changed significantly. ENRs had significantly less inhibition of CRPM (p < 0.05), C2M (p < 0.01), and C3M (p < 0.01) compared to early responders. There was a significant difference in the C2M, C3M, and CRPM profiles of the ENRs, non-responders, and responders. ACR50 responders had significantly inhibited levels (p < 0.001), irrespective of dose.

CONCLUSIONS:
TCZ8 strongly inhibited the biomarkers of joint tissue remodeling suggesting that TCZ actively suppresses key pathobiological processes at the site of inflammation in RA patients. The differences in biomarkers' profiles of responders and non-responders indicate that specific responder profiles exist

Rheumatology, Rheumatoid Arthritis
20. Sep 2012

Matrix metalloproteinase-dependent turnover of cartilage, synovial membrane, and connective tissue is elevated in rats with collagen induced arthritis

BACKGROUND:
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease affecting the extracellular matrix of especially synovial joints. The thickness of the synovial membrane increases and surrounding tissue degrades, leading to altered collagen balance in the tissues. In this study, we investigated the altered tissue balance of cartilage, synovial membrane, and connective tissue in collagen induced arthritis (CIA) in rats.

METHODS:
Six newly developed ELISAs quantifying MMP-derived collagen degradation (C1M, C2M, and C3M) and formation (P1NP, P2NP, and P3NP) was used to detect cartilage turnover in rats with CIA. Moreover, CTX-II was used to detect alternative type II collagen degradation and as control of the model. 10 Lewis rats were injected with porcrine type II collagen twice with a 7 day interval and 10 rats was injected with 0.05 M acetic acid as control. The experiment ran for 26 days.

RESULTS:
A significant increase in the degradation of type I, II, and III collagen (C1M, C2M, and C3M, respectively) was detected on day 22 (P = 0.0068, P = 0.0068, P < 0.0001, respectively), whereas no significant difference in formation (P1NP, P2NP, and P3NP) was detected at any time point (P=0.22, P=0.53, P=0.53, respectively). The CTX-II level increased strongly from disease onset and onwards.

CONCLUSION:
A nearly total separation between diseased and control animals was detected with C3M, making it a good diagnostic marker. The balance of type I, II, and III collagen was significantly altered with CIA in rats, with favour of degradation of the investigated collagens. This indicates unbalanced turnover of the surrounding tissues of the synovial joints, leading to increased pain and degeneration of the synovial joints

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis
8. Dec 2011

Molecular serum and urine marker repertoire supporting clinical research on joint diseases

The need for improved analytical techniques in the study of slow, degenerative diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis has driven major efforts aimed at identifying biochemical markers of pathological processes in both diseases. A series of novel biochemical markers has surfaced and their careful validation has become a critical requirement for further use in clinical research. This report aims at providing a critical review of biochemical markers applied in clinical research of joint diseases, in particular those markers reflecting the turnover of cartilage tissue

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Feb 2012

Mice over-expressing salmon calcitonin have strongly attenuated osteoarthritic histopathological changes after destabilization of the medial meniscus

OBJECTIVE:
Calcitonin is well-known for its inhibitory actions on bone-resorbing osteoclasts and recently potential beneficial effects on cartilage were shown. We investigated effects of salmon calcitonin (sCT) on the articular cartilage and bone, after destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) in normal and sCT over-expressing mice.

DESIGN:
Bone phenotype of transgenic (TG) C57Bl/6 mice over-expressing sCT at 6 months and 12 months was investigated by (1) serum osteocalcin and urinary deoxypyridinoline and (2) dynamic and normal histomorphometry of vertebrae bodies. In subsequent evaluation of cartilage and subchondral bone changes, 44 10-week old TG or wild-type (WT) mice were randomized into four groups and subjected to DMM or sham-operations. After 7 weeks animals were sacrificed, and knee joints were isolated for histological analysis.

RESULTS:
Trabecular bone volume (BV/TV) increased 150% after 6 months and 300% after 12 months in sCT-expressing mice when compared to WT controls (P<0.05). Osteoblast number, bone formation rate and osteocalcin measurements were not affected in TG mice over-expressing sCT. In WT animals, a 5-fold increase in the quantitative erosion index was observed after DMM, and the semi-quantitative OARSI score showed over 400% (P<0.001) increase, compared to sham-operated WT mice. DMM-operated TG mice were protected against cartilage erosion and showed a 65% and 64% (P<0.001) reduction, respectively, for the two histopathological evaluation methods.

CONCLUSIONS:
sCT over-expressing mice had higher bone volume, and were protected against cartilage erosion. These data suggest that increased levels of sCT may hamper the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). However more studies are necessary to confirm these preliminary results

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
3. Jan 2011

Tummala SDiagnosis of Osteoarthritis by Cartilage Surface Smoothness Quantified Automatically from Knee MRI

OBJECTIVE:
We investigated whether surface smoothness of articular cartilage in the medial tibiofemoral compartment quantified from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be appropriate as a diagnostic marker of osteoarthritis (OA).

METHOD:
At baseline, 159 community-based subjects aged 21 to 81 with normal or OA-affected knees were recruited to provide a broad range of OA states. Smoothness was quantified using an automatic framework from low-field MRI in the tibial, femoral, and femoral subcompartments. Diagnostic ability of smoothness was evaluated by comparison with conventional OA markers, specifically cartilage volume from MRI, joint space width (JSW) from radiographs, and pain scores.

RESULTS:
A total of 140 subjects concluded the 21-month study. Cartilage smoothness provided diagnostic ability in all compartments (P < 0.0001). The diagnostic smoothness markers performed at least similar to JSW and were superior to volume markers (e.g., the AUC for femoral smoothness of 0.80 was higher than the 0.57 for volume, P < 0.0001, and marginally higher than 0.73 for JSW, P = 0.25). The smoothness markers allowed diagnostic detection of pain presence (P < 0.05) and showed some correlation with pain severity (e.g., r = -0.32). The longitudinal change in smoothness was correlated with cartilage loss (r up to 0.60, P < 0.0001 in all compartments).

CONCLUSIONS:
This study demonstrated the potential of cartilage smoothness markers for diagnosis of moderate radiographic OA. Furthermore, correlations between smoothness and pain values and smoothness loss and cartilage loss supported a link to progression of OA. Thereby, smoothness markers may allow detection and monitoring of OA-supplemented currently accepted markers

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
13. Apr 2011

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISAs) for metalloproteinase derived type II collagen neoepitope, CIIM--increased serum CIIM in subjects with severe radiographic osteoarthritis

OBJECTIVES:
In joint degenerative diseases, the collagens are degraded by matrix metalloproteinases and protein fragments are released to serum as potential biomarkers.

METHODS:
A collagen type II specific neoepitope, CIIM, was identified (…RDGAAG(1053)) by mass spectrometry. Two ELISAs against the neoepitope were developed. CIIM was measured in cartilage explants in the presence or absence of protease inhibitors. CIIM was measured in OA synovial fluid (n=51) and serum (n=156). Knee OA was graded by standard Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score.

RESULTS:
The ELISAs showed good technical performance; CV%, <13%. CIIM release from cartilage explants was blocked by the MMP inhibitor. CIIM was detected in synovial fluid. Furthermore, serum CIIM levels were significantly higher (P<0.05) in those individuals with mild or severe OA than in those with no OA.

CONCLUSION:
We developed a new biomarker for joint degenerative diseases, which we demonstrated was derived from MMP-degraded type II collagen

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
19. Apr 2011

Oral salmon calcitonin reduces cartilage and bone pathology in an osteoarthritis rat model with increased subchondral bone turnover

OBJECTIVES:
Traumatic osteoarthritis (OA) is possibly augmented by effects from loss of sex hormones. Salmon calcitonin is shown to reduce OA pathogenesis and bone resorption. We investigated the effects of oral salmon calcitonin treatment and ovariectomy on cartilage and bone pathology in a traumatic OA model.

METHODS:
Six groups with 10 7-month-old female Sprague Dawley rats each were subjected to bilateral meniscectomy (MNX), ovariectomy (OVX) or Sham surgery and treated for 8 weeks with oral salmon calcitonin (CT) or vehicle (V) in the following way: (1) Sham+V; (2) MNX+V; (3) MNX+CT; (4) OVX+V; (5) MNX/OVX+V; (6) MNX/OVX+CT. Weights were recorded weekly and CTX-II was measured in serum. At termination 56 days post-surgery, the right tibia was analyzed for changes in articular cartilage thickness, extent of cartilage damage and subchondral bone changes in predefined zones, as recommended in the novel OARSI histopathology score.

RESULTS:
The combined MNX/OVX model produced a significantly reduced cartilage thickness (P=0.033) in the outer zone (Z1) of the tibial plateau and increased calcified cartilage damage (P=0.0004) and serum CTX-II (P=0.003). Addition of OVX to MNX significantly increased the width of matrix damage at the surface (P=0.025) and 50% cartilage depth (P=0.004). Treatment with oral salmon calcitonin counteracted the loss of cartilage thickness (P=0.055), significantly reduced subchondral bone damage score (P=0.019) and reduced the type II collagen degradation (P=0.009).

CONCLUSIONS:
Addition of ovariectomy augmented site-specific traumatic OA pathology, which was reduced by oral salmon calcitonin treatment. Treatments for OA might ideally affect both bone and cartilage

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
15. Mar 2011

A microarray analysis of full depth knee cartilage of ovariectomized rats

BACKGROUND:
This short communication focuses the on articular cartilage and the subchondral bone, both of which play important roles in the development of osteoarthritis (OA). There are indications that estrogen-deficiency, as the post-menopausal state, accelerate the development of OA.

FINDINGS:
We investigated, which extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, proteases and different pro-inflammatory factors was up- or down-regulated in the knee joint tissue in response to estrogen-deficiency in rats induced by ovariectomy. These data support previous findings that several metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cysteine proteases are co-regulated with numerous collagens and proteoglycans that are important for cartilage integrity. Furthermore quite a few pro-inflammatory cytokines were regulated by estrogen deprivation.

CONCLUSION:
We found multiple genes where regulated in the joint by estrogen-deficiency, many of which correspond well with our current knowledge of the pathogenesis of OA. It supports that estrogen-deficiency (e.g. OVX) may accelerate joint deterioration. However, there are also data that draw attention the need for better understanding of the synergy between proteases and tissue turnover

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
22. Jan 2014

Osteoarthritis--a case for personalized health care?

For both economic and ethical reasons, identification of the optimal treatment for each individual patient is a pressing concern, not only for the patients and their physician, but also health care payers and the pharmaceutical industry. In the field of osteoarthritis (OA) this is of particular relevance, due to the heterogeneity of the disease and the very large number of affected individuals. There is a need to pair the right patients with the right therapeutic modes of action. At present, the clinical trial failures in OA may be a consequence of both bona fide treatment failures and trial failures due to clinical design deficiencies. Tools are needed for characterization and segregation of patients with OA. Key lessons may be learned from advances with another form of arthritis, namely rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Personalized health care (PHC) may be more advantageous for a number of specific indications which are characterized by costly therapy, low response rates and significant problems associated with trial and error prescription, including the risk of serious side effects. We discuss the use of diagnostic practices guiding RA treatment, which may serve as a source of key insights for diagnostic practices in OA. We discuss the emerging concept of PHC, and outline the opportunities and current successes and failures across the RA field, as the OA field collects further data to support the hypothesis. We attempt to outline a possible path forward to assist patients, physicians, payers and the pharmaceutical industry in assuring the 'right' patients are treated with the 'right drug' in OA. Finally we highlight methods for possible segregation of OA patients that would allow identification of patient subtypes, such as OA driven by inflammation that may be ideally suited for PHC and for targeted therapies

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Jul 2011

Characterization of an Ex vivo Femoral Head Model Assessed by Markers of Bone and Cartilage Turnover

OBJECTIVE:
The pathophysiology of osteoarthritis involves the whole joint and is characterized by cartilage degradation and altered subchondral bone turnover. At present, there is a need for biological models that allow investigation of the interactions between the key cellular players in bone/cartilage: osteoblasts, osteoclasts, and chondrocytes.

METHODS:
Femoral heads from 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-week-old female mice were isolated and cultured for 10 days in serum-free media in the absence or presence of IGF-I (100 nM) (anabolic stimulation) or OSM (10 ng/mL) + TNF-α (20 ng/mL) (catabolic stimulation). Histology on femoral heads before and after culture was performed, and the growth plate size was examined to evaluate the effects on cell metabolism. The conditioned medium was examined for biochemical markers of bone and cartilage degradation/formation.

RESULTS:
Each age group represented a unique system regarding the interest of bone or cartilage metabolism. Stimulation over 10 days with OSM + TNF-α resulted in depletion of proteoglycans from the cartilage surface in all ages. Furthermore, OSM + TNF-α decreased growth plate size, whereas IGF-I increased the size. Measurements from the conditioned media showed that OSM + TNF-α increased the number of osteoclasts by approximately 80% and induced bone and cartilage degradation by approximately 1200% and approximately 2600%, respectively. Stimulation with IGF-I decreased the osteoclast number and increased cartilage formation by approximately 30%.

CONCLUSION:
Biochemical markers and histology together showed that the catabolic stimulation induced degradation and the anabolic stimulation induced formation in the femoral heads. We propose that we have established an explant whole-tissue model for investigating cell-cell interactions, reflecting parts of the processes in the pathogenesis of joint degenerative diseases

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
24. Apr 2013

The development and characterization of a competitive ELISA for measuring active ADAMTS-4 in a bovine cartilage ex vivo model

ADAMTS-4 (aggrecanase1) is believed to play an important role in the degradation of aggrecan during the progression of joint diseases. ADAMTS-4 is synthesized as a latent pro-enzyme that requires the removal of the pro-domain, exposing the N-terminal neoepitope, to achieve activity. We developed a monoclonal antibody against this neoepitope of active ADAMTS-4. Furthermore, we established and characterized a competitive ELISA for measuring active ADAMTS-4 form applying the specific antibody. We used this assay to profile the presence of active ADAMTS-4 and its aggrecan degradation product (NITEGE(373)) in a bovine cartilage ex vivo model. We found that after stimulation with catabolic factors, the cartilage initially released high levels of aggrecanase-derived aggrecan fragments into supernatant but subsequently decreased to background levels. The level of active ADAMTS-4 released into the supernatant and retained in the cartilage matrix increased continuously throughout the 21days of the study. The activity of ADAMTS-4 on the last day of catabolic stimulation was verified in vitro by adding deglycosylated or native aggrecan to the conditioned medium. Samples of human cartilage affected by varying degrees of osteoarthritis stained strongly for active ADAMTS-4 where surface fibrillation and clustered chondrocytes were observed. This assay could be an effective tool for studying ADAMTS-4 activity and for screening drugs regulating ADAMTS-4 activation. Moreover, it could be a potential biomarker for degenerative joint disease

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
13. May 2013

Role of hormones in cartilage and joint metabolism: understanding an unhealthy metabolic phenotype in osteoarthritis

OBJECTIVE:
Joint health is affected by local and systemic hormones. It is well accepted that systemic factors regulate the metabolism of joint tissues, and that substantial cross-talk between tissues actively contributes to homeostasis. In the current review, we try to define a subtype of osteoarthritis (OA), metabolic OA, which is dependent on an unhealthy phenotype.

METHODS:
Peer-reviewed research articles and reviews were reviewed and summarized. Only literature readily available online, either by download or by purchase order, was included.

RESULTS:
OA is the most common joint disease and is more common in women after menopause. OA is a disease that affects the whole joint, including cartilage, subchondral bone, synovium, tendons, and muscles. The clinical endpoints of OA are pain and joint space narrowing, which is characterized by cartilage erosion and subchondral sclerosis, suggesting that cartilage is a central tissue of joint health. Thus, the joint, more specifically the cartilage, may be considered a target of endocrine function in addition to the well-described traditional risk factors of disease initiation and progression such as long-term loading of the joint due to obesity. Metabolic syndrome affects a range of tissues and may in part be molecularly described as a dysregulation of cytokines, adipokines, and hormones (e.g., estrogen and thyroid hormone). Consequently, metabolic imbalance may both directly and indirectly influence joint health and cartilage turnover, altering the progression of diseases such as OA.

CONCLUSIONS:
There is substantial evidence for a connection between metabolic health and development of OA. We propose that more focus be directed to understanding this connection to improve the management of menopausal health and associated comorbidities

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
17. Oct 2013

Metabolic health in families enriched for longevity is associated with low prevalence of hand osteoarthritis and influences OA biomarker profiles

OBJECTIVES:
Individual metabolic characteristics and age-related changes may affect osteoarthritis (OA) risk as well as levels of potential OA biomarkers such as serum cartilage oligomeric protein (sCOMP) and urinary cross-linked C-telopeptide of type 2 collagen (uCTX2). We investigated hand OA and these putative OA biomarker characteristics at different ages in individuals with a propensity for healthy ageing, in controls, and in patients with OA.

METHODS:
We investigated hand radiological OA (ROA) and levels of sCOMP and uCTX2 in the Leiden Longevity Study, which consisted of the middle-aged offspring of long-lived sibling pairs as metabolically healthy agers and their partners as controls, and for ROA we compared patients with OA at multiple joint sites from the Genetics, osteoARthritis and Progression Study with the healthy agers and controls.

RESULTS:
Hand ROA mean scores were lower in the healthy agers than in controls. Lower hand ROA scores at higher ages were observed in healthy agers with low glucose levels. Furthermore, in healthy agers, a higher mean sCOMP level was observed than in controls. All study groups had higher sCOMP levels at higher chronological age. Likewise, uCTX2 levels were higher at higher chronological age in the controls and patients with OA, which was not observed in the healthy agers.

CONCLUSIONS:
Metabolic health in middle age is associated with less ROA and influences putative OA marker profiles, independently of chronological age. When used as OA biomarkers, it is relevant that independently of hand ROA status, uCTX2 is influenced by healthy metabolism and sCOMP is higher at higher chronological age

Endocrinology, Type 1-Diabetes
10. Oct 2012

Future detection and monitoring of diabetes may entail analysis of both β-cell function and volume: how markers of β-cell loss may assist

Disease heterogeneity is as major issue in Type II Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), and this patient inter-variability might not be sufficiently reflected by measurements of glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c).Β-cell dysfunction and β-cell death are initiating factors in development of T2DM. In fact, β-cells are known vanish prior to the development of T2DM, and autopsy of overt T2DM patients have shown a 60% reduction in β-cell mass.As the decline in β-cell function and mass have been proven to be pathological traits in T2DM, methods for evaluating β-cell loss is becoming of more interest. However, evaluation of β-cell death or loss is currently invasive and unattainable for the vast majority of diabetes patients. Serological markers, reflecting β-cell loss would be advantageous to detect and monitor progression of T2DM. Biomarkers with such capacities could be neo-epitopes of proteins with high β-cell specificity containing post translational modifications. Such tools may segregate T2DM patients into more appropriate treatment groups, based on their β-cell status, which is currently not possible. Presently individuals presenting with adequately elevated levels of both insulin and glucose are classified as T2DM patients, while an important subdivision of those is pending, namely those patients with sufficient β-cell capacity and those without. This may warrant two very different treatment options and patient care paths.Serological biomarkers reflecting β-cell health status may also assist development of new drugs for T2DM and aid physicians in better characterization of individual patients and tailor individual treatments and patient care protocols

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
3. Jan 2013

Bringing cancer serological diagnosis to a new level: focusing on HER2, protein ectodomain shedding and neoepitope technology

Cancer is a heterogeneous disease and consequently an exact diagnosis is as important as the actual therapy. Therefore, identification of novel diagnostic biomarker targets is urgently needed. Physiological and pathological changes are reflected by post-translational modifications of proteins. Each post-translational modification (e.g., proteolytic cleavage) is the result of a specific local process and may produce disease-specific neoepitopes. Neoepitopes have been successfully used as biomarkers in many diseases, and may also serve as promising tools in the development of future diagnostic assays within oncology. By specifically targeting neoepitopes, more information regarding disease-type and -state may be obtained and future research into neoepitopes will provide important and novel means for the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment efficacy in cancer. In this paper, we focus on protein ectodomain shedding and the generation of neoepitopes as future noninvasive (serological) cancer biomarkers. We use the protein ectodomain shedding of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, which is associated with breast cancer, as an example. We assess the current status of measuring human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 and discuss how this potentially could be improved. Furthermore, we expand the discussion to include examples of other cancer associated proteins.

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
8. Jan 2014

The future of blood-based biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease

Treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is significantly hampered by the lack of easily accessible biomarkers that can detect disease presence and predict disease risk reliably. Fluid biomarkers of AD currently provide indications of disease stage; however, they are not robust predictors of disease progression or treatment response, and most are measured in cerebrospinal fluid, which limits their applicability. With these aspects in mind, the aim of this article is to underscore the concerted efforts of the Blood-Based Biomarker Interest Group, an international working group of experts in the field. The points addressed include: (1) the major challenges in the development of blood-based biomarkers of AD, including patient heterogeneity, inclusion of the "right" control population, and the blood-brain barrier; (2) the need for a clear definition of the purpose of the individual markers (e.g., prognostic, diagnostic, or monitoring therapeutic efficacy); (3) a critical evaluation of the ongoing biomarker approaches; and (4) highlighting the need for standardization of preanalytical variables and analytical methodologies used by the field

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
18. Mar 2014

Prolonged calcitonin receptor signaling by salmon, but not human calcitonin, reveals ligand bias

Salmon calcitonin (sCT) and human calcitonin (hCT) are pharmacologically distinct. However, the reason for the differences is unclear. Here we analyze the differences between sCT and hCT on the human calcitonin receptor (CT(a)R) with respect to activation of cAMP signaling, β-arrestin recruitment, ligand binding kinetics and internalization. The study was conducted using mammalian cell lines heterologously expressing the human CT(a) receptor. CT(a)R downstream signaling was investigated with dose response profiles for cAMP production and β-arrestin recruitment for sCT and hCT during short term (<2 hours) and prolonged (up to 72 hours) stimulation. CT(a)R kinetics and internalization was investigated with radio-labeled sCT and hCT ligands on cultured cells and isolated membrane preparations from the same cell line. We found that sCT and hCT are equipotent during short-term stimulations with differences manifesting themselves only during long-term stimulation with sCT inducing a prolonged activation up to 72 hours, while hCT loses activity markedly earlier. The prolonged sCT stimulation of both cAMP accumulation and β-arrestin recruitment was attenuated, but not abrogated by acid wash, suggesting a role for sCT activated internalized receptors. We have demonstrated a novel phenomenon, namely that two distinct CT(a)R downstream signaling activation patterns are activated by two related ligands, thereby highlighting qualitatively different signaling responses in vitro that could have implications for sCT use in vivo

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
31. Jul 2014

A novel oral dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist (KBP-042) exerts antiobesity and antidiabetic effects in rats

The present study investigated a novel oral dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist (DACRA), KBP-042, in head-to-head comparison with salmon calcitonin (sCT) with regard to in vitro receptor pharmacology, ex vivo pancreatic islet studies, and in vivo proof of concept studies in diet-induced obese (DIO) and Zucker diabetic fatty (ZDF) rats. In vitro, KBP-042 demonstrated superior binding affinity and activation of amylin and calcitonin receptors, and ex vivo, KBP-042 exerted inhibitory action on stimulated insulin and glucagon release from isolated islets. In vivo, KBP-042 induced a superior and pronounced reduction in food intake in conjunction with a sustained pair-fed corrected weight loss in DIO rats. Concomitantly, KBP-042 improved glucose homeostasis and reduced hyperinsulinemia and hyperleptinemia in conjunction with enhanced insulin sensitivity. In ZDF rats, KBP-042 induced a superior attenuation of diabetic hyperglycemia and alleviated impaired glucose and insulin tolerance. Concomitantly, KBP-042 preserved insulinotropic and induced glucagonostatic action, ultimately preserving pancreatic insulin and glucagon content. In conclusion, oral KBP-042 is a novel DACRA, which exerts antiobesity and antidiabetic efficacy by dual modulation of insulin sensitivity and directly decelerating stress on the pancreatic α- and β-cells. These results could provide the basis for oral KBP-042 as a novel therapeutic agent in type 2 diabetes

Bone
22. Jul 2014

A comparison of osteoclast-rich and osteoclast-poor osteopetrosis in adult mice sheds light on the role of the osteoclast in coupling bone resorption and bone formation

Osteopetrosis due to lack of acid secretion by osteoclasts is characterized by abolished bone resorption, increased osteoclast numbers, but normal or even increased bone formation. In contrast, osteoclast-poor osteopetrosis appears to have less osteoblasts and reduced bone formation, indicating that osteoclasts are important for regulating osteoblast activity. To illuminate the role of the osteoclast in controlling bone remodeling, we transplanted irradiated skeletally mature 3-month old wild-type mice with hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to generate either an osteoclast-rich or osteoclast-poor adult osteopetrosis model. We used fetal liver HSCs from (1) oc/oc mice, (2) RANK KO mice, and (3) compared these to wt control cells. TRAP5b activity, a marker of osteoclast number and size, was increased in the oc/oc recipients, while a significant reduction was seen in the RANK KO recipients. In contrast, the bone resorption marker CTX-I was similarly decreased in both groups. Both oc/oc and Rank KO recipients developed a mild osteopetrotic phenotype. However, the osteoclast-rich oc/oc recipients showed higher trabecular bone volume (40 %), increased bone strength (66 %), and increased bone formation rate (54 %) in trabecular bone, while RANK KO recipients showed only minor trends compared to control recipients. We here show that maintaining non-resorbing osteoclasts, as opposed to reducing the osteoclasts, leads to increased bone formation, bone volume, and ultimately higher bone strength in vivo, which indicates that osteoclasts are sources of anabolic molecules for the osteoblasts

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
14. Aug 2014

Oral salmon calcitonin enhances insulin action and glucose metabolism in diet-induced obese streptozotocin-diabetic rats

We previously reported that oral delivery of salmon calcitonin (sCT) improved energy and glucose homeostasis and attenuated diabetic progression in animal models of diet-induced obesity (DIO) and type 2 diabetes, although the glucoregulatory mode of action was not fully elucidated. In the present study we hypothesized that oral sCT as pharmacological intervention 1) exerted anti-hyperglycemic efficacy, and 2) enhanced insulin action in DIO-streptozotocin (DIO-STZ) diabetic rats. Diabetic hyperglycemia was induced in male selectively bred DIO rats by a single low dose (30mg/kg) injection of STZ. Oral sCT by gavage was delivered as once-daily administration with lead-in (2mg/kg) and maintenance (0.5mg/kg) dose of oral sCT for a total of 21 days. Food intake, body weight, blood glucose, HbA1c, glucose and insulin tolerance test, and parameters of insulin sensitivity were investigated. Plasma glucoregulatory hormones and pancreatic insulin content were analyzed. Oral sCT treatment induced a pronounced anorectic action during the 7 days lead-in period and markedly reduced food intake and body weight in conjunction with improved glucose homeostasis. During the maintenance period, oral sCT normalized food intake and attenuated weight loss, albeit sustained glycemic control by reducing fasting blood glucose and HbA1c levels compared to those of vehicle-treated rats at the end of study. Notably, plasma levels of insulin, glucagon, leptin and adiponectin were unaltered, albeit insulin action was enhanced in conjunction with protection of pancreatic insulin content. The results of the present study indicate that oral sCT exerts a novel insulin-sensitizing effect to improve glucose metabolism in obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Bone
11. Dec 2013

Osteoclasts are not crucial for hematopoietic stem cell maintenance in adult mice

The osteoclast is vital for establishment of normal hematopoiesis in the developing animal. However, its role for maintenance of hematopoiesis in adulthood is more controversial. To shed more light on this process, we transplanted hematopoietic stem cells from two osteopetrotic mouse models, with lack of osteoclasts or defective osteoclast function, to normal adult mice and examined the bone phenotype and hematopoiesis in the recipients. B6SJL mice were lethally irradiated and subsequently transplanted with oc/oc, Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor Kappa B knockout or control fetal liver cells. Osteoclasts derived from the recipient animals were tested in vitro for osteoclastogenesis and resorptive function. Bone remodeling changes were assessed using biomarkers of bone turnover and micro-CT. Hematopoiesis was assessed by flow cytometry and colony formation, and hematopoietic stem cell function by secondary competitive transplantations and cell cycle analysis. After transplantation, a donor chimerism of 97-98% was obtained, and by 15 weeks mild osteopetrosis had developed in recipients of cells from osteopetrotic mice. There were no alterations in the number of bone marrow cells. Colony formation was slightly reduced in Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor Kappa B knockout recipients but unchanged in oc/oc recipients. Phenotypically, stem cells were marginally reduced in recipients of cells from osteopetrotic mice, but no significant difference was seen in cell cycle status and in competitive secondary transplantations all three groups performed equally well. Our results indicate that osteoclast function is not crucial for hematopoietic stem cell maintenance in adult mice.

Rheumatology
12. Dec 2013

Type VI collagen turnover-related peptides-novel serological biomarkers of muscle mass and anabolic response to loading in young men

BACKROUND:
Immobilization-induced loss of muscle mass is a complex phenomenon with several parallels to sarcopenic and cachectic muscle loss. Muscle is a large organ with a protein turnover that is orders of magnitude larger than most other tissues. Thus, we hypothesize that muscle loss and regain is reflected by peptide biomarkers derived from type VI collagen processing released in the circulation.

METHODS:
In order to test this hypothesis, we set out to develop an ELISA assay against an type VI collagen N-terminal globular domain epitope (IC6) and measured the levels of IC6 and an MMP-generated degradation fragment of collagen 6, (C6M) in a human immobilization-remobilization study setup with young (n = 11) and old (n = 9) men. They were subjected to 2 weeks of unilateral lower limb immobilization followed by 4 weeks of remobilization including thrice weekly resistance training, using the contralateral leg as internal controls. Subjects were sampled for strength, quadriceps muscle volume and blood at baseline (PRE), post-immobilization (2W), and post-remobilization (4W). Blood were subsequently analyzed for levels of the C6M and IC6 biomarkers. We subsequently tested if there was any correlation between C6M, IC6, or the C6M/IC6 ratio and muscle mass or strength at baseline. We also tested whether there was any relation between these biomarkers and changes in muscle mass or strength with immobilization or remobilization.

RESULTS:
The model produced significant loss of muscle mass and strength in the immobilized leg. This loss was bigger in young subjects than in elderly, but whereas the young recovered almost fully, the elderly had limited regrowth of muscle. We found a significant correlation between IC6 and muscle mass at baseline in young subjects (R (2) = 0.6563, p = 0.0045), but none in the elderly. We also found a significant correlation between C6M measured at the 4W time point and the change in muscle mass during remobilization, again only manifesting in the young men(R (2) = 0.6523, p = 0.0085). This discrepancy between the young and the elderly may be caused in part by much smaller changes in muscle mass in the elderly and partly by the relative small sample size.

CONCLUSION:
While we cannot rule out the possibility that these biomarkers in part stem from other tissues, our results strongly indicate that these markers represent novel biomarkers of muscle mass or change in muscle mass in young men

Rheumatology
16. Oct 2013

Musculoskeletal ageing and primary prevention

Loss of musculoskeletal mass and function is a natural ageing trait, reinforced by an unhealthy life style. Loss of bone (osteoporosis) and muscle (sarcopaenia) are conditions whose prevalence are increasing because of the change in population distribution in the western world towards an older mean age. Improvements in lifestyle factors, such as diet, smoking and exercise, are the most powerful tools to combat this decline efficiently; however, public health interventions aimed at tackling these problems have shown abysmal success at the population level, mostly due to failure in compliance. With these issues in mind, we believe that the primary prevention modality in coming decades will be pharmacological. We review the basic biology of musculoskeletal ageing and what measures can be taken to prevent ageing-associated loss of musculoskeletal mass and function, with particular emphasis on pharmacological means

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
10. Jul 2013

Oral salmon calcitonin protects against impaired fasting glycemia, glucose intolerance, and obesity induced by high-fat diet and ovariectomy in rats

OBJECTIVE:
Oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) has demonstrated clinical efficacy in treating osteoporosis in postmenopausal women. The postmenopausal state is also associated with obesity-related insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes. The aim of this study was to investigate the preventive effects of oral sCT on energy and glucose homeostasis in high-fat diet (HFD)- and ovariectomy (OVX)-induced obese rats. Furthermore, the weight-regulatory and gluco-regulatory effects of short-term oral sCT intervention on HFD-induced obese rats were explored.

METHODS:
For prevention, female rats exposed to HFD with or without OVX were treated with oral sCT for 5 weeks. As intervention, HFD-induced obese male rats were treated with oral sCT for 4 days. Body weight, food intake, and plasma glucose, insulin, and leptin levels were measured, and the clinical homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) index was calculated. In addition, oral glucose tolerance was evaluated in the systemic and portal circulations.

RESULTS:
For prevention, oral sCT reduced body weight by ∼16% to 19% (P < 0.001), reduced plasma insulin and leptin by ∼50%, and improved impaired fasting glycemia (P < 0.05) concomitantly with amelioration of IR (HOMA-IR; P < 0.01) in HFD- and OVX-induced obesity. Furthermore, oral sCT significantly reduced the incremental area under the curve for plasma glucose and insulin by ∼40% and ∼70%, respectively, during glucose tolerance testing. As intervention in HFD-induced obese rats, oral sCT reduced body weight, fasting glycemia, and insulinemia in conjunction with HOMA-IR (P < 0.001). Finally, oral sCT alleviated glucose intolerance predominantly in the portal circulation.

CONCLUSIONS:
Oral sCT treatment displays weight-regulatory and glucoregulatory efficacy in HFD- and OVX-induced obese rats, indicating the clinical usefulness of oral sCT in postmenopausal obesity-related IR and type 2 diabetes

Central Nervous System, Alzheimer’s Disease
22. May 2013

An enzyme-generated fragment of tau measured in serum shows an inverse correlation to cognitive function

OBJECTIVE:
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating neurological disease characterized by pathological proteolytic cleavage of tau protein, which appears to initiate death of the neurons. The objective of this study was to investigate whether a proteolytic fragment of the tau protein could serve as blood-based biomarker of cognitive function in AD.

METHODS:
We developed a highly sensitive ELISA assay specifically detecting an A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10)-generated fragment of tau (Tau-A). We characterized the assay in detail with to respect specificity and reactivity in healthy human serum. We used samples from the Tg4510 tau transgenic mice, which over-express the tau mutant P301L and exhibit a tauopathy with similarities to that observed in AD. We used serum samples from 21 well-characterized Alzheimer's patients, and we correlated the Tau-A levels to cognitive function.

RESULTS:
The Tau-A ELISA specifically detected the cleavage sequence at the N-terminus of a fragment of tau generated by ADAM10 with no cross-reactivity to intact tau or brain extracts. In brain extracts from Tg4510 mice compared to wt controls we found 10-fold higher levels of Tau-A (p<0.001), which indicates a pathological relevance of this marker. In serum from healthy individuals we found robust and reproducible levels of Tau-A, indicating that the analyte is present in serum. In serum from AD patients an inverse correlation (R² = 0.46, p<0.001) between the cognitive assessment score (Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS)) and Tau-A levels was observed.

CONCLUSION:
Based on the hypothesis that tau is cleaved proteolytically and then released into the blood, we here provide evidence for the presence of an ADAM10-generated tau fragment (Tau-A) in serum. In addition, the levels of Tau-A showed an inverse correlation to cognitive function, which could indicate that this marker is a serum marker with pathological relevance for AD

Bone
15. Jan 2014

Osteoclast-derived coupling factors in bone remodeling

In the bone remodeling process that takes place throughout the skeleton at bone multicellular units, intercellular communication processes are crucial. The osteoblast lineage has long been known to program osteoclast formation and hence resorption, but the preservation of bone mass and integrity requires tight control of remodeling. This needs local controls that ensure availability of mesenchymal precursors and the provision of local signals that promote differentiation through the osteoblast lineage. Some signals can come from growth factors released from resorbed bone matrix, and there is increasing evidence that the osteoclast lineage itself produces factors that can either enhance or inhibit osteoblast differentiation and hence bone formation. A number of such factors have been identified from predominantly in vitro experiments. The coupling of bone formation to resorption is increasingly recognized as a complex, dynamic process that results from the input of many local factors of cell and matrix origin that can either promote or inhibit bone formation

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
19. Apr 2013

The neo-epitope specific PRO-C3 ELISA measures true formation of type III collagen associated with liver and muscle parameters

AIM:
The present study describes the assessment of true formation of type III collagen in different pathologies using a neo-epitope specific competitive Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) towards the N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen (PRO-C3).

METHODS:
The monoclonal antibody was raised against the N-protease mediated cleavage site of the N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen and a competitive ELISA was developed using the selected antibody. The assay was evaluated in relation to neo-epitope specificity, technical performance, and as a marker for liver fibrosis and muscle mass using the rat carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) model and a study of immobilization induced muscle loss in humans, respectively.

RESULTS:
The ELISA was neo-epitope specific, technically stable and can be assessed in serum and plasma samples. In the CCl4 liver fibrosis model it was observed that serum PRO-C3 were significantly elevated in rats with liver fibrosis as seen by histology (56% elevated in the highest quartile of total hepatic collagen compared to control rats, p<0.001) and correlated significantly to total hepatic collagen in the diseased rats (r=0.46, p<0.01) and not in control rats, suggesting the pathological origin of the epitope. Human plasma PRO-C3 correlated significantly to muscle mass at baseline (R(2)=0.44, p=0.036).

CONCLUSION:
The developed neo-epitope specific serum ELISA for type III procollagen (PRO-C3) reflects true formation as it is specific for the propeptide cleaved off the intact collagen molecule. In a clinical and in a rodent study we showed that this marker was highly related to liver fibrosis and muscle mass

Cardiovascular System, Atherosclerosis
21. Jun 2013

Acute Myocardial Infarction and Pulmonary Diseases Result in Two Different Degradation Profiles of Elastin as Quantified by Two Novel ELISAs

BACKGROUND:
Elastin is a signature protein of the arteries and lungs, thus it was hypothesized that elastin is subject to enzymatic degradation during cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. The aim was to investigate if different fragments of the same protein entail different information associated to two different diseases and if these fragments have the potential of being diagnostic biomarkers.

METHODS:
Monoclonal antibodies were raised against an identified fragment (the ELM-2 neoepitope) generated at the amino acid position '552 in elastin by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) -9/-12. A newly identified ELM neoepitope was generated by the same proteases but at amino acid position '441. The distribution of ELM-2 and ELM, in human arterial plaques and fibrotic lung tissues were investigated by immunohistochemistry. A competitive ELISA for ELM-2 was developed. The clinical relevance of the ELM and ELM-2 ELISAs was evaluated in patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), no AMI, high coronary calcium, or low coronary calcium. The serological release of ELM-2 in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) was compared to controls.

RESULTS:
ELM and ELM-2 neoepitopes were both localized in diseased carotid arteries and fibrotic lungs. In the cardiovascular cohort, ELM-2 levels were 66% higher in serum from AMI patients compared to patients with no AMI (p<0.01). Levels of ELM were not significantly increased in these patients and no correlation was observed between ELM-2 and ELM. ELM-2 was not elevated in the COPD and IPF patients and was not correlated to ELM. ELM was shown to be correlated with smoking habits (p<0.01)

CONCLUSIONS:
The ELM-2 neoepitope was related to AMI whereas the ELM neoepitope was related to pulmonary diseases. These results indicate that elastin neoepitopes generated by the same proteases but at different amino acid sites provide different tissue-related information depending on the disease in question

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
14. May 2013

Peptidyl arginine deiminase inhibitor effect on hepatic fibrogenesis in a CCl4 pre-clinical model of liver fibrosis

Having previously shown that levels of the citrullinated vimentin peptide VICM are raised in liver fibrosis in rats, we aimed to investigate whether inhibition of citrullination as measured by VICM levels could affect fibrogenesis.

METHODS:
Fibrogenesis was evaluated by quantitative histology and circulating levels of collagen type III in a carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) rat model of liver fibrosis for 6 weeks (n=40+10 untreated controls). The first treatment group (n=20) was treated exclusively with CCl4 for the duration of the study.The second treatment group (n=20) was additionally treated, for the same period, with N-a-benzoyl-N5-(2 Chloro-1-iminoethyl)-L-Ornithine amide, a known PAD inhibitor.

RESULTS:
All 40 CCl4 treated animals showed a statistically significant increase in total collagen (p<0.0001) and C3M levels (p<0.001) compared with controls assessed by quantitative histology. Animals additionally treated with the PAD inhibitor showed a statistically significant increase when compared with controls for both total collagen (p<0.001) and C3M levels (p<0.0001) but no statistically difference when compared with animals treated only with CCl4. The mean systemic level of VICM in control animals was 115 ng/ml at 6 weeks. In CCl4-treated animals, mean systemic VICM levels increased 324% at week 6 (p<0.001). The mean level of the marker in CCl4-treated rats was not statistically significant from that in controls (P>0.05). In PAD-treated animals VICM levels were 51% (P<0.05) lower than in non-PAD CCl4-treated animals.

CONCLUSION:
The PAD inhibitor did not reduce fibrogenesis in this preclinical model. However circulating VICM marker levels were decreased in the presence of the PAD inhibitor

Extracellular Matrix Research, Hepatic System
15. May 2013

Biglycan fragmentation in pathologies associated with extracellular matrix remodeling by matrix metalloproteinases

BACKGROUND:
The proteoglycan biglycan (BGN) is involved in collagen fibril assembly and its fragmentation is likely to be associated with collagen turnover during the pathogenesis of diseases which involve dysregulated extracellular matrix remodeling (ECMR), such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and liver fibrosis. The scope of the present study was to develop a novel enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the measurement of a MMP-9 and MMP-12-generated biglycan neo-epitope and to test its biological validity in a rat model of RA and in two rat models of liver fibrosis, chosen as models of ECMR.

RESULTS:
Biglycan was cleaved in vitro by MMP-9 and -12 and the 344'YWEVQPATFR'353 peptide (BGM) was chosen as a potential neo-epitope. A technically sound competitive ELISA for the measurement of BGM was generated and the assay was validated in a bovine cartilage explant culture (BEX), in a collagen induced model of rheumatoid arthritis (CIA) and in two different rat models of liver fibrosis: the carbon tetrachloride (CCL4)-induced fibrosis model, and the bile duct ligation (BDL) model. Significant elevation in serum BGM was found in CIA rats compared to controls, in rats treated with CCL4 for 16 weeks and 20 weeks compared to the control groups as well as in all groups of rats subject to BDL compared with sham operated groups. Furthermore, there was a significant correlation of serum BGM levels with the extent of liver fibrosis determined by the Sirius red staining of liver sections in the CCL4 model.

CONCLUSION:
We demonstrated that the specific tissue remodeling product of MMPs-degraded biglycan, namely the neo-epitope BGM, is correlated with pathological ECMR. This assay represents both a novel marker of ECM turnover and a potential new tool to elucidate biglycan role during the pathological processes associated with ECMR

Oncology, Pancreas
6. Nov 2013

Extracellular matrix specific protein fingerprints measured in serum can separate pancreatic cancer patients from healthy controls

BACKGROUND:
Pancreatic cancer (PC) is an aggressive disease with an urgent need for biomarkers. Hallmarks of PC include increased collagen deposition (desmoplasia) and increased matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity. The aim of this study was to investigate whether protein fingerprints of specific MMP-generated collagen fragments differentiate PC patients from healthy controls when measured in serum.

METHODS:
The levels of biomarkers reflecting MMP-mediated degradation of type I (C1M), type III (C3M) and type IV (C4M, C4M12a1) collagen were assessed in serum samples from PC patients (n = 15) and healthy controls (n = 33) using well-characterized and validated competitive ELISAs.

RESULTS:
The MMP-generated collagen fragments were significantly elevated in serum from PC patients as compared to controls. The diagnostic power of C1M, C3M, C4M and C4M12 were ≥83% (p < 0.001) and when combining all biomarkers 99% (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:
A panel of serum biomarkers reflecting altered MMP-mediated collagen turnover is able to differentiate PC patients from healthy controls. These markers may increase the understanding of mode of action of the disease and, if validated in larger clinical studies, provide an improved and additional tool in the PC setting

Respiratory System, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
13. Dec 2013

MMP mediated degradation of type IV collagen alpha 1 and alpha 3 chains reflects basement membrane remodeling in experimental and clinical fibrosis--validation of two novel biomarker assays

OBJECTIVES:
Fibrosis is characterized by excessive tissue remodeling resulting from altered expression of various growth factors, cytokines and proteases. We hypothesized that matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) mediated degradation of type IV collagen, a main component of the basement membrane, will release peptide fragments (neo-epitopes) into the circulation. Here we present the development of two competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for assessing the levels of specific fragments of type IV collagen α1 (C4M12a1) and α3 (C4M12a3) chains in serum as indicators of fibrosis.

METHODS:
Fragments of type IV collagen cleaved in vitro by MMP-12 were identified by mass spectrometry, and two were chosen for ELISA development due to their unique sequences. The assays were evaluated using samples from a carbon tetrachloride (CCl₄) rat model of liver fibrosis and from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

RESULTS:
Two technically robust ELISAs were produced using neo-epitope specific monoclonal antibodies. Mean serum C4M12a1 levels were significantly elevated in CCl₄-treated rats compared with controls in weeks 12, 16, and 20, with a maximum increase of 102% at week 16 (p < 0.0001). Further, C4M12a1 levels correlated with the total collagen content of the liver in CCl₄-treated rats (r = 0.43, p = 0.003). Mean serum C4M12a3 levels were significantly elevated in patients with mild, moderate, and severe IPF, and COPD relative to healthy controls, with a maximum increase of 321% in COPD (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS:
Two assays measuring C4M12a1 and C4M12a3 enabled quantification of MMP mediated degradation of type IV collagen in serum. C4M12a1 was elevated in a pre-clinical model of liver fibrosis, and C4M12a3 was elevated in IPF and COPD patients. This suggests the use of these assays to investigate pathological remodeling of the basement membrane in different organs. However, validations in larger clinical settings are needed.

Renal System, Chronic Renal Disease
22. Aug 2013

Association of systemic collagen type IV formation with survival among patients undergoing hemodialysis

OBJECTIVE:
The 7S domain of collagen type IV (P4NP_7S) assessed in plasma represents systemic collagen type IV formation. The objective of the study was to investigate the association of systemic collagen type IV formation with survival among patients undergoing hemodialysis.

METHODS:
We performed an observational cohort study of 371 hemodialysis patients. Plasma P4NP_7S was analyzed using a specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay detecting the amino-terminal propeptide of type IV procollagen. Association between categories of plasma P4NP_7S concentrations and survival was initially assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis, then in an adjusted Cox model.

RESULTS:
For hemodialysis patients in the highest category of systemic collagen type IV formation, i.e. plasma P4NP_7S concentrations more than 775 pg/L, an increased risk for death was observed (highest P4NP_7S category vs all other categories, hazard ratio, 1.934; 95% confidence interval, 1.139 to 3.285). Survival analysis showed an increased risk of death in the highest P4NP_7S category compared to the other categories (Chi square 6.903; P = 0.032). Median survival was only 105 days in the highest P4NP_7S category whereas it was 629 days in the medium category, and 905 days in the lowest category. Multivariable-adjusted Cox regression showed increased odds for death with higher age and higher P4NP_7S categories. Systemic collagen type IV formation was associated with plasma concentrations of the collagen IV degradation product C4M (Spearman r = 0.764; P<0.0001) confirming extracellular matrix turnover.

CONCLUSION:
Among hemodialysis patients elevated systemic collagen type IV formation suggesting accelerating systemic fibrosis was associated with increased risk of death.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
6. Feb 2014

The coupling of bone and cartilage turnover in osteoarthritis: opportunities for bone antiresorptives and anabolics as potential treatments?

Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritic disease, and a major cause of disability and impaired quality of life in the elderly. OA is a complex disease of the entire joint, affecting bone, cartilage and synovium that thereby presents multiple targets for treatment. This manuscript will summarise emerging observations from cell biology, preclinical and preliminary clinical trials that elucidate interactions between the bone and cartilage components in particular. Bone and cartilage health are tightly associated. Ample evidence has been found for bone changes during progression of OA including, but not limited to, increased turnover in the subchondral bone, undermineralisation of the trabecular structure, osteophyte formation, bone marrow lesions and sclerosis of the subchondral plate. Meanwhile, a range of investigations has shown positive effects on cartilage health when bone resorption is suppressed, or deterioration of the cartilage when resorption is increased. Known bone therapies, namely oestrogens, selective oestrogen receptor modifiers (SERMs), bisphosphonates, strontium ranelate, calcitonin and parathyroid hormone, might prove useful for treating two critical tissue components of the OA joint, the bone and the cartilage. An optimal treatment for OA likely targets at least these two tissue components. The patient subgroups for whom these therapies are most appropriate have yet to be fully defined but would likely include, at a minimum, those with high bone turnover

Rheumatology, Rheumatoid Arthritis
5. Feb 2014

Effect of tocilizumab combined with methotrexate on circulating biomarkers of synovium, cartilage, and bone in the LITHE study

OBJECTIVE:
We investigated the effects of tocilizumab (TCZ) on joint tissue remodeling in patients with moderate to severely active RA by measuring tissue-specific biomarker.

METHODS:
The LITHE biomarker study (n = 740) was a phase III study of 4- and 8-mg/kg TCZ in combination with MTX. Early response was evaluated at week 16 as ±20% improvement in swollen/tender joint counts; and ACR50 was evaluated at week 52. Biomarkers (tissue inflammation: C3M, CRPM, and VICM; cartilage degradation: C2M; and bone turnover: CTx and osteocalcin) were tested in serum from baseline, week 4, 16, 24, and 52, and dose-dependent effect was investigated. Patients were divided into the following three groups: early non-responders (ENR), ACR50 responders, and non-responders; their biomarker profiles were compared.

RESULTS:
At week 52, CRP was inhibited to 4% and 40% of baseline by TCZ8 and TCZ4, respectively. CRPM (63%), C2M (84%), C3M (69%), and VICM (42%) were significantly (p < 0.05) reduced by TCZ8, but not by TCZ4. MMP3 and osteocalcin changed to <58% and >111%, respectively, in response to TCZ. CTx was not changed significantly. ENRs had significantly less inhibition of CRPM (p < 0.05), C2M (p < 0.01), and C3M (p < 0.01) compared to early responders. There was a significant difference in the C2M, C3M, and CRPM profiles of the ENRs, non-responders, and responders. ACR50 responders had significantly inhibited levels (p < 0.001), irrespective of dose.

CONCLUSIONS:
TCZ8 strongly inhibited the biomarkers of joint tissue remodeling suggesting that TCZ actively suppresses key pathobiological processes at the site of inflammation in RA patients. The differences in biomarkers' profiles of responders and non-responders indicate that specific responder profiles exist

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
14. Aug 2013

Serological identification of fast progressors of structural damage with rheumatoid arthritis

INTRODUCTION:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with structural progression are in most need of immediate treatment to maintain tissue integrity. The serum protein fingerprint, type I collagen degradation mediated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-cleavage (C1M), is a biomarker of tissue destruction. We investigated whether baseline serum C1M levels could identify structural progressors and if the biomarker levels changed during anti-inflammatory treatment with tocilizumab (TCZ).

METHODS:
The LITHE-biomarker study (NCT00106535, n = 585) was a one-year phase III, double-blind, placebo (PBO)-controlled, parallel group study of TCZ 4 or 8 mg/kg every four weeks, in RA patients on stable doses of methotrexate (MTX). Spearman's ranked correlation was used to assess the correlation between baseline C1M levels and structural progression at baseline and at weeks 24 and 52. Multivariate regression was performed for delta structural progression. Change in C1M levels were studied as a function of time and treatment.

RESULTS:
At baseline, C1M was significantly correlated to C-reactive protein (P <0.0001), visual analog scale pain (P <0.0001), disease activity score28-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) (P <0.0001), joint space narrowing (JSN) (P = 0.0056) and modified total Sharp score (mTSS) (P = 0.0006). Baseline C1M was significantly correlated with delta-JSN at Week 24 (R² = 0.09, P = 0.0001) and at Week 52 (R² = 0.27, P <0.0001), and with delta-mTSS at 24 weeks (R² = 0.006, P = 0.0015) and strongly at 52 weeks (R² = 0.013, P <0.0001) in the PBO group. C1M levels were dose-dependently reduced in the TCZ + MTX group.

CONCLUSIONS:
Baseline C1M levels correlated with worsening joint structure over one year. Serum C1M levels may enable identification of those RA patients that are in most need of aggressive treatment

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
7. Jan 2014

Identification and characterisation of osteoarthritis patients with inflammation derived tissue turnover

OBJECTIVES:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease with a subset of patients experiencing joint inflammation, but C-reactive protein (CRP) has shown limited use in OA as a diagnostic marker. The aim was to identify subpopulations of patients with high or low levels of acute (high sensitive CRP (hsCRP)) and/or matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) derived inflammation (CRPM) and investigate the subpopulations' association with biomarkers of collagen degradation and Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score.

METHODS:
hsCRP, CRPM and MMP-degraded type I, II and III collagen (type I collagen degraded by MMP (C1M), type II collagen degraded by MMP (C2M) and type III collagen degraded by MMP (C3M)) were quantified by enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in serum of 342 patients with symptomatic knee OA of which 60 underwent total knee replacement (TKR). KL was obtained. Patients were divided into quartiles by hsCRP and CRPM levels, where Q1 and Q4 were low or high in both. The biomarker levels of healthy adults provided in the ELISA kits were used as reference level.

RESULTS:
hsCRP was elevated in TKR (5.9(3.6-8.2 95% confidence interval (CI)) μg/mL) compared to reference level (3 μg/mL), while CRPM was highly elevated with OA independent of KL (10-14 ng/mL) compared to reference level (5 ng/mL). Q4 had higher KL than Q1 (P < 0.001), Q2 (P = 0.017) and Q3 (P < 0.001). C1M, C2M and C3M were lowest in Q1. C1M was elevated in Q3 compared to Q2 (P < 0.001), whereas C3M was lower (P = 0.019).

CONCLUSION:
A bigger proportion of patients were elevated in CRPM compared to hsCRP, indicating MMP-derived inflammation as a component of OA. Moreover, the levels of MMP-degraded collagens differed between the subgroups segregated by inflammation, indicating distinctively different subpopulation selected by inflammation

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
5. Nov 2013

Novel serological neo-epitope markers of extracellular matrix proteins for the detection of portal hypertension

BACKGROUND:
The hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is an invasive, but important diagnostic and prognostic marker in cirrhosis with portal hypertension (PHT). During cirrhosis, remodelling of fibrotic tissue by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) is a permanent process generating small fragments of degraded extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins known as neoepitopes, which are then released into the circulation.

AIM:
To investigate their potential as plasma markers for detection of PHT.

METHODS:
Ninety-four patients with alcoholic cirrhosis and 20 liver-healthy controls were included. Clinical and laboratory data of the patients were collected. All patients received HVPG measurement with blood sampling. In these samples, the following degradation or formation markers were measured: C1M (type I-collagen), C3M and PRO-C3 (type III collagen), C4M and P4NP 7S (type IV collagen), C5M (type V collagen), C6M (type VI collagen), BGM (biglycan), ELM (elastin), CRPM (CRP).

RESULTS:
All ECM markers except for CRPM correlated significantly with HVPG. Interestingly, C4M, C5M and ELM levels were significantly higher in patients with HVPG >10 mmHg. Multiple regression analysis identified PRO-C3, C6M and ELM as significant determinants, while the models A and B including PRO-C3, ELM, C6M and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) provided better description of PHT (r = 0.75, P < 0.0001). The models provided odds ratios of >100 for having clinical significant PHT.

CONCLUSIONS:
These novel non-invasive extracellular matrix markers reflect the degree of liver dysfunction. The different degrees of portal hypertension correlated with these circulating neoepitopes. Using a single blood sample, these neoepitopes in combination with MELD detect the level of portal hypertension

Extracellular Matrix Research, Hepatic System
5. Aug 2014

Review article: the efficacy of biomarkers in chronic fibroproliferative diseases - early diagnosis and prognosis, with liver fibrosis as an exemplar

BACKGROUND:
Nearly 45% of all deaths are associated with chronic fibroproliferative diseases, of which the primary characteristic is altered remodelling of the extracellular matrix. A major difficulty in developing anti-fibrotic therapies is the lack of accurate and established techniques to estimate dynamics of fibrosis, regression or progression, in response to therapy.

AIM:
One of the most pressing needs in modern clinical chemistry for fibroproliferative disorders is the development of biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis, and early efficacy for the benefit of patients and to facilitate improved drug development. The aim of this article was to review the serological biomarkers that may assist in early diagnosis of patients, separate fast from slow- or nonprogressors, and possibly assist in drug development for fibroproliferative diseases, exemplified by liver fibrosis. The lack of success of biochemical markers and the possible reasons for this is discussed in the context of other fields with biomarker success.

METHOD:
This is a personal opinion review article.

RESULTS:
Biochemical markers, originating from the fibrotic structure, may have increased specificity and sensitivity for disease. Assessment of the tissue turnover balance by measurement of tissue formation and tissue degradation separately by novel technologies may provide value.

CONCLUSIONS:
Novel technologies focused on the protein fingerprint in addition to biomarker classification, may increase the quality of biomarker development and provide the much needed biomarkers to further the fibroproliferative field. This is in direct alignment with the Food and Drug Administration and European Medicinal Agencies initiatives of personal health care.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Mar 2014

Republished: Value of biomarkers in osteoarthritis: current status and perspectives

Osteoarthritis affects the whole joint structure with progressive changes in cartilage, menisci, ligaments and subchondral bone, and synovial inflammation. Biomarkers are being developed to quantify joint remodelling and disease progression. This article was prepared following a working meeting of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis convened to discuss the value of biochemical markers of matrix metabolism in drug development in osteoarthritis. The best candidates are generally molecules or molecular fragments present in cartilage, bone or synovium and may be specific to one type of joint tissue or common to them all. Many currently investigated biomarkers are associated with collagen metabolism in cartilage or bone, or aggrecan metabolism in cartilage. Other biomarkers are related to non-collagenous proteins, inflammation and/or fibrosis. Biomarkers in osteoarthritis can be categorised using the burden of disease, investigative, prognostic, efficacy of intervention, diagnostic and safety classification. There are a number of promising candidates, notably urinary C-terminal telopeptide of collagen type II and serum cartilage oligomeric protein, although none is sufficiently discriminating to differentiate between individual patients and controls (diagnostic) or between patients with different disease severities (burden of disease), predict prognosis in individuals with or without osteoarthritis (prognostic) or perform so consistently that it could function as a surrogate outcome in clinical trials (efficacy of intervention). Future avenues for research include exploration of underlying mechanisms of disease and development of new biomarkers; technological development; the 'omics' (genomics, metabolomics, proteomics and lipidomics); design of aggregate scores combining a panel of biomarkers and/or imaging markers into single diagnostic algorithms; and investigation into the relationship between biomarkers and prognosi

Osteoarthritis
1. Sep 2014

Alpha C-telopeptide of type I collagen is associated with subchondral bone turnover and predicts progression of joint space narrowing and osteophytes in osteoarthritis

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate joint tissue remodeling using the urinary collagen biomarkers urinary α-C-telopeptide of type I collagen (α-CTX) and urinary C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II) and to determine the association of these biomarkers with osteoarthritis (OA) severity, progression, and localized knee bone turnover

METHODS:
Participants (n = 149) with symptomatic and radiographic knee OA underwent fixed-flexion knee radiography at baseline and 3 years, and late-phase bone scintigraphy of both knees at baseline, which were scored semiquantitatively for osteophyte and joint space narrowing (JSN) severity and uptake intensity, with scores summed across knees. Urinary concentrations of α-CTX and CTX-II were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Immunohistochemical analysis of human OA knees was performed to localize the joint tissue origin of the biomarker epitopes

RESULTS:
Urinary α-CTX concentrations correlated strongly with the intensity of bone scintigraphic uptake and with JSN progression (risk ratio 13.2) and osteophyte progression (risk ratio 3). Urinary CTX-II concentrations were strongly associated with intensity of bone scintigraphic uptake, with JSN and osteophyte severity, and with OA progression based on osteophyte score. Urinary α-CTX localized primarily to high bone turnover areas in subchondral bone. CTX-II localized to the bone-cartilage interface, the tidemark, and damaged articular cartilage.

CONCLUSION:
Baseline urinary α-CTX, which was localized to high turnover areas of subchondral bone, was associated with dynamic bone turnover of knees, as signified by scintigraphy, and progression of both osteophytes and JSN. Urinary CTX-II correlated with JSN and osteophyte severity and progression of osteophytes. To our knowledge, this represents the first report of serologic markers reflecting subchondral bone turnover. These collagen markers may be useful for noninvasive detection and quantification of active subchondral bone turnover and joint remodeling in knee OA

Osteoarthritis
19. Mar 2014

The active form of MMP-3 is a marker of synovial inflammation and cartilage turnover in inflammatory joint diseases

BACKGROUND:
Matrix metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3) plays an important role in the pathology of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Measurement of active MMP-3 in clinical samples could provide information about progression of rheumatoid diseases, and potentially response to treatment. Hence, we aimed to develop a sensitive assay specifically measuring the active form of MMP-3 (act-MMP-3) both in ex vivo models and in human sera.

METHODS:
A monoclonal antibody against the first 6 amino acids of act-MMP-3 was developed, and the specificity was carefully tested by comparing total and active MMP-3. A technically robust act-MMP-3 ELISA was produced. For biological validation, human synovial membrane and human cartilage explant (HEX) culture models were measured and compared by ELISA and immunoblots. For clinical relevance, the serum levels of act-MMP-3 in AS and RA patients before and after anti-TNF-α treatment were evaluated.

RESULTS:
A highly specific and technically robust ELISA detecting act-MMP-3 in serum was developed. The lower limit of detection was 33.7 pg/mL. The dilution and spiking recovery of human serum was within 100 ± 20%. The average intra- and inter-assay variations were 3.1% and 13.5% respectively.High levels of act-MMP-3 expression were observed in human synovial membrane culture and oncostatin M and TNF-α stimulated human cartilage. In a cross-sectional study of both AS and RA patients, serum act-MMP-3 level was correlated with C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). In addition, in patients receiving anti-TNF-α treatment, the serum level of act-MMP-3 was significantly reduced compared to baseline level reflecting the anti-inflammatory effects of the treatment.

CONCLUSION:
We have successfully developed an assay measuring act-MMP-3 in human serum showing correlation to inflammatory markers. Further studies are required to clarify, whether act-MMP-3 can serve as a predictive marker for outcome in chronic rheumatoid disorders

Osteoarthritis
22. May 2014

Large scale meta-analysis of urinary C-terminal telopeptide, serum cartilage oligomeric protein and matrix metalloprotease degraded type II collagen and their role in prevalence, incidence and progression of osteoarthritis

OBJECTIVE:
To evaluate the role of three cartilage-derived biomarkers on osteoarthritis (OA): urinary C-terminal telopeptide (uCTX-II), serum cartilage oligomeric protein (sCOMP), and serum MMP degraded type II collagen (sC2M).

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:
Samples from 3582 individuals from the Rotterdam Study, the Genetics osteoArthritis and Progression (GARP), the Chingford Study and the TwinsUK cohort were assayed using enzyme-linked immune sorbent assays. Log10 of concentration levels were correlated with risk of hip, hand and knee OA, hip and knee OA severity and incidence, and progression of knee OA, adjusting for age, gender and body mass index (BMI). Results were meta-analysed to assess overall significance.

RESULTS:
After adjusting for covariates, sCOMP was associated with knee OA and hip and knee OA incidence. Furthermore, sC2M was associated with knee OA incidence and progression. After adjustment for multiple tests (Bonferroni P < 0.002) only the association between sCOMP and knee OA remained significant (odds ratio (OR) = 3.26 (95%CI 1.63-10.1) P = 0.0008 for each standard deviation (SD) increase in biomarker levels). Levels of uCTX-II were significantly associated with risk of hand, hip and knee OA, progression and incidence of knee OA. A receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis showed a consistent improvement in prediction of knee OA progression from an average area under the curve (AUC) is 0.646 for age, sex and BMI alone to an AUC = 0.668 including uCTX-II for prediction.

CONCLUSIONS:
uCTX-II is the most informative biochemical marker for prediction of OA. Both sCOMP and C2M showed some association with OA, thus indicating that they are descriptive of disease activity

Renal System, Extracellular Matrix Research
28. Mar 2014

The extracellular matrix in the kidney: a source of novel non-invasive biomarkers of kidney fibrosis?

Interstitial fibrosis is the common endpoint of end-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) leading to kidney failure. The clinical course of many renal diseases, and thereby of CKD, is highly variable. One of the major challenges in deciding which treatment approach is best suited for a patient but also in the development of new treatments is the lack of markers able to identify and stratify patients with stable versus progressive disease. At the moment renal biopsy is the only means of diagnosing renal interstitial fibrosis. Novel biomarkers should improve diagnosis of a disease, estimate its prognosis and assess the response to treatment, all in a non-invasive manner. Existing markers of CKD do not fully and specifically address these requirements and in particular do not specifically reflect renal fibrosis. The aim of this review is to give an insight of the involvement of the extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in kidney diseases and as a source of potential novel biomarkers of renal fibrosis. In particular the use of the protein fingerprint technology, that identifies neo-epitopes of ECM proteins generated by proteolytic cleavage by proteases or other post-translational modifications, might identify such novel biomarkers of renal fibrosis

1. Sep 2014

Combined antiretroviral therapy attenuates hepatic extracellular matrix remodeling in HIV patients assessed by novel protein fingerprint markers

OBJECTIVES:
Combined antiretroviral therapy (cART) attenuates hepatic fibrosis in hepatitis C virus and HIV coinfected patients. However, the role of HIV or cART on hepatic fibrosis in HIV monoinfection is discussed controversially. During liver fibrosis, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) degrade extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins into small soluble fragments, which reflect hepatic remodeling processes. This study used these novel biomarkers to investigate the effect of HIV and cART on hepatic fibrosis remodeling.

DESIGN:
In 249 patients with HIV monoinfection and 55 healthy controls, the serum levels of MMP-degraded collagen type III (C3M), biglycan (BGM), elastin (ELM), as well as the formation marker 7S (P4NP 7S), and MMP-degraded collagen type IV (C4M) were determined using specific ELISAs. Sixty-eight patients underwent a follow-up visit 3 years later including assessment of ECM markers and fibrosis using transient elastography (Fibroscan).

RESULTS:
C3M, BGM, C4M and P4NP 7S were significantly elevated in HIV patients compared to controls and correlated to HIV viral loads and inversely to cART duration. C4M, P4NP 7S and ELM were lower in patients under cART therapy and in patients without HIV viremia, indicating that lowering of the HIV load by cART attenuates remodeling of ECM. The levels of C3M, C4M, P4NP 7S and ELM correlated significantly with the progression of fibrosis in these patients.

CONCLUSION:
Specific therapy of patients with HIV monoinfection also beneficially influences liver fibrosis. These novel markers of liver fibrosis remodeling may help to monitor the hepatic effects by HIV therapy

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Jan 2015

Association between biochemical cartilage markers and clinical symptoms in patients with hip osteoarthritis: cohort study with 2-year follow-up

OBJECTIVES:
To assess associations between uCTX-II or uCIIM and severity of hip pain in patients with mild-moderate hip osteoarthritis (OA) over a 2-year period, and establish whether the level of these biomarkers at baseline could estimate a specific trajectory of hip pain.

DESIGN:
A cohort study with a 2-year follow-up and 6-monthly measurements of urinary biomarkers (uCTX-II and uCIIM) and symptom severity. Patients were recruited from general practices. The primary outcome was hip pain, measured with the Western Ontario and McMasters University Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) subscale and the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). Associations between hip pain and biomarkers were assessed using linear mixed-model analysis for repeated measurements. Five previously identified pain trajectories were used as outcome to investigate whether the level of biomarkers at baseline could estimate membership in one of the trajectories using multinomial regression analysis.

RESULTS:
LoguCTX-II and loguCIIM were not associated with WOMAC pain or VAS pain during the 2-year follow-up. Patients in the highly progressive pain trajectory and the moderate pain trajectory were more likely to have a higher loguCTX-II at baseline (OR 6.7; 95% CI 1.6-28.2 and OR 4.8; 95% CI 1.0-22.8, respectively) than patients in the mild pain trajectory.

CONCLUSION:
This study shows that in patients with mild-moderate hip OA the urinary biochemical markers uCTX-II and uCIIM are not cross-sectionally associated with hip pain during the 2-year follow-up. Because the uCTX-II level estimated a progressive or moderate hip pain trajectory, this correlation needs to be confirmed in additional patients with hip OA

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
10. Sep 2014

Meta-analysis identifies loci affecting levels of the potential osteoarthritis biomarkers sCOMP and uCTX-II with genome wide significance

BACKGROUND:
Research for the use of biomarkers in osteoarthritis (OA) is promising, however, adequate discrimination between patients and controls may be hampered due to innate differences. We set out to identify loci influencing levels of serum cartilage oligomeric protein (sCOMP) and urinary C-telopeptide of type II collagen (uCTX-II).

METHODS:
Meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies was applied to standardised residuals of sCOMP (N=3316) and uCTX-II (N=4654) levels available in 6 and 7 studies, respectively, from TreatOA. Effects were estimated using a fixed-effects model. Six promising signals were followed up by de novo genotyping in the Cohort Hip and Cohort Knee study (N = 964). Subsequently, their role in OA susceptibility was investigated in large-scale genome-wide association studies meta-analyses for OA. Differential expression of annotated genes was assessed in cartilage.

RESULTS:
Genome-wide significant association with sCOMP levels was found for a SNP within MRC1 (rs691461, p = 1.7 × 10(-12)) and a SNP within CSMD1 associated with variation in uCTX-II levels with borderline genome-wide significance (rs1983474, p = 8.5 × 10(-8)). Indication for association with sCOMP levels was also found for a locus close to the COMP gene itself (rs10038, p = 7.1 × 10(-6)). The latter SNP was subsequently found to be associated with hip OA whereas COMP expression appeared responsive to the OA pathophysiology in cartilage.

CONCLUSIONS:
We have identified genetic loci affecting either uCTX-II or sCOMP levels. The genome wide significant association of MRC1 with sCOMP levels was found likely to act independent of OA subtypes. Increased sensitivity of biomarkers with OA may be accomplished by taking genetic variation into account

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
11. Dec 2014

Association between experimental pain biomarkers and serologic markers in patients with different degrees of painful knee osteoarthritis

OBJECTIVE:
To assess the association between pain mechanisms (sensitization) and biochemical markers for cartilage, bone, and inflammation in patients with knee pain.

METHODS:
The study group comprised 281 patients with different degrees of knee pain intensity and radiographic findings (using the Kellgren/Lawrence [K/L] scale). The following structurally related serologic biomarkers were measured in serum: high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-mediated breakdown of CRP (CRPM), MMP-mediated degradation of type I collagen (C1M), C2M, and C3M. Pressure-pain thresholds (PPT) (peripheral and spreading sensitization), temporal summation of pain, and conditioning pain modulation (CPM) (with the latter 2 biomarkers representing generalized sensitization) were assessed. For each pain parameter, the patients were categorized as most sensitized or least sensitized.

RESULTS:
Correlations were observed between the pain biomarkers PPT, temporal summation, and CPM and maximal pain intensity during the last 24 hours. Significant associations between most of the serologic biomarkers were observed. A high CRPM level was associated with centralized sensitization (temporal summation and CPM). None of the serologic markers correlated with the intensity or duration of knee pain, and only hsCRP correlated with the K/L grade. The most-sensitized group contained more women than men, and the least-sensitized group contained more men than women.

CONCLUSION:
A platform of mechanistic pain biomarkers in combination with structure-related serologic biomarkers provides new possibilities for understanding how osteoarthritis-related structural features may be associated with pain and pain sensitization. This study showed significant correlations between central pain sensitization and CRPM as a possible measure for chronic inflammation. Future pain association studies should include biomarkers representing the local joint environment more specifically

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Aug 2014

Biomarkers of cartilage and surrounding joint tissue

The identification and clinical demonstration of efficacy and safety of osteo- and chondro-protective drugs are met with certain difficulties. During the last few decades, the pharmaceutical industry has, in the field of rheumatology, experienced disappointments associated with the development of disease modification. Today, the vast amount of patients suffering from serious, chronic joint diseases can only be offered treatments aimed at improving symptoms, such as pain and acute inflammation, and are not aimed at protecting the joint tissue. This huge, unmet medical need has been the driver behind the development of improved analytical techniques allowing better and more efficient clinical trial design, implementation and analysis. With this review, we aim to provide a brief and general overview of biochemical markers of joint tissue, with special focus on neoepitopes. Furthermore, we highlight recent studies applying biochemical markers in joint degenerative diseases. These disorders, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthropathies, are the most predominant disorders in Europe and the USA, and have enormous socioeconomical impact

Extracellular Matrix Research
9. Oct 2014

Measurement of a MMP-2 degraded Titin fragment in serum reflects changes in muscle turnover induced by atrophy (1)

PURPOSE:
In this study we sought to determine whether a Titin peptide fragment can serve as a clinical biomarker for changes in muscle mass.

METHODS:
Mass spectrometry was used to identify Titin fragment in urine. An antibody against this Titin sequence was raised and used to develop a competitive ELISA assay for measurement in serum. Rat tissue extractions in the presence or absence of a series of proteases of interest were used to identify its enzymatic origin. A rat model of dexamethasone (DEX) induced muscle atrophy and a human 56-day bed rest study with and without vibration therapy were used to assess biological and clinical relevance.

RESULTS:
A technically robust ELISA measuring the Titin fragment was developed against a Titin peptide fragment identified in human urine. The fragment was shown to be produced primarily by MMP-2 cleavage of Titin. In the rat muscle DEX induced atrophy model, Titin-MMP2 fragment was decreased in the beginning of DEX treatment, and then significantly increased later on during DEX administration. In the human bed rest study, the Titin-MMP2 fragment was initially decreased 11.9 (±3.7) % after 1day of bed rest, and then gradually increased ending up at a 16.4 (±4.6) % increase at day 47.

CONCLUSIONS:
We developed a robust ELISA measuring a muscle derived MMP-2 generated Titin degradation fragment in rat and human serum. Importantly, the fragment can be measured in serum and that these levels are related to induction of skeletal muscle atrophy

Alzheimer’s Disease, Central Nervous System
11. Jun 2015

Relationship between serum levels of tau fragments and clinical progression of Alzheimer's disease

Enzyme-generated fragments of tau have been linked to neuronal death and may serve as serum biomarkers of cognitive loss. Two competitive ELISAs detecting an ADAM10-generated fragment (Tau-A) or a caspase-3-generated fragment (Tau-C) were measured in baseline serum samples from patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) from a Phase III clinical trial, and correlated to change in the Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive subscale (ADAS-Cog11) and Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum of Boxes (CDR-SB) over a 64-week period using an MMRM-analysis. Relationship between the biomarkers and changes in ADAS-Cog11 score as a function of time were observed for Tau-C and change in ADAS-Cog11 (p = 0.06), and for Tau-A and change in CDR-SB (p = 0.04). The correlation of Tau-A/Tau-C ratio with cognitive change assessed by ADAS-Cog11 was even more significant (p < 0.006). These data indicate that measuring the balance between tau fragments in serum may provide a marker of the rate of progression of AD and warrant studies in larger cohorts

Extracellular Matrix Research
1. Oct 2014

Measurement of a MMP-2 degraded Titin fragment in serum reflects changes in muscle turnover induced by atrophy

PURPOSE:
In this study we sought to determine whether a Titin peptide fragment can serve as a clinical biomarker for changes in muscle mass.

METHODS:
Mass spectrometry was used to identify Titin fragment in urine. An antibody against this Titin sequence was raised and used to develop a competitive ELISA assay for measurement in serum. Rat tissue extractions in the presence or absence of a series of proteases of interest were used to identify its enzymatic origin. A rat model of dexamethasone (DEX) induced muscle atrophy and a human 56-day bed rest study with and without vibration therapy were used to assess biological and clinical relevance.

RESULTS:
A technically robust ELISA measuring the Titin fragment was developed against a Titin peptide fragment identified in human urine. The fragment was shown to be produced primarily by MMP-2 cleavage of Titin. In the rat muscle DEX induced atrophy model, Titin-MMP2 fragment was decreased in the beginning of DEX treatment, and then significantly increased later on during DEX administration. In the human bed rest study, the Titin-MMP2 fragment was initially decreased 11.9 (±3.7) % after 1day of bed rest, and then gradually increased ending up at a 16.4 (±4.6) % increase at day 47

Extracellular Matrix Research, Rheumatology
22. Sep 2014

Type X collagen levels are elevated in serum from human osteoarthritis patients and associated with biomarkers of cartilage degradation and inflammation

BACKGROUND:
Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common degenerative joint disease, of which the pathogenesis is inadequately understood. Hypertrophy-like changes have been observed as part of the progression of OA. The aim of the study was to develop and characterize a novel biomarker of chondrocytes hypertrophy and investigate how this marker was associated with cartilage degradation and inflammation in patients with various degrees of OA.

METHODS:
A competitive ELISA, C-Col10, applying a well-characterized monoclonal antibody was developed as a biomarker of chondrocyte hypertrophy through measurement of type X collagen (ColX). The levels of C-Col10, C2M (matrix metalloproteinase-derived fragments of type II collagen) and hsCRP (high sensitive C-reactive protein) were quantified by ELISAs in serum of 271 OA patients stratified by Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) score 0-4. Associations between serum levels of the three biomarkers (log transformed) were analyzed by Pearson's correlation and differences in C-Col10 levels between patients with high and low levels of inflammation measured by hsCRP were analyzed by ANOVA.

RESULTS:
We developed a C-Col10 assay measuring the C-terminus of ColX. We found significantly higher levels of ColX in patients with KL score 2 compared to patients with no radiographic evidence of OA (KL0) (p = 0.04). Levels of ColX were significantly elevated in OA patients with above normal hsCRP levels (p < 0.0001), as well as significantly correlated with levels of C2M (r = 0.55, p < 0.0001), which suggested that chondrocyte hypertrophy was associated with inflammation and cartilage degradation. There was no correlation between C2M and hsCRP. Age and BMI adjustment didn't change the results. Immuno-staining revealed that ColX was predominately located around the hypertrophic chondrocytes and the clustered chondrocytes indicating that C-Col10 measures may be linked to cartilage hypertrophic changes.

CONCLUSIONS:
We developed a novel assay, C-Col10, for measurement of chondrocyte hypertrophy and found its levels significantly elevated in OA patients with KL score of 2, and also in OA patients with above normal hsCRP levels. Concentration of C-Col10 strongly correlated with levels of C2M, a marker of cartilage destruction. The data suggest that chondrocyte hypertrophy and subsequent collagen X fragmentation seem to be increased in a subset of patients with inflammatory OA

Rheumatology, Alkaptonuria
1. Mar 2015

Twelve novel HGD gene variants identified in 99 alkaptonuria patients: focus on 'black bone disease' in Italy

Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase (HGD) gene leading to the deficiency of HGD enzyme activity. The DevelopAKUre project is underway to test nitisinone as a specific treatment to counteract this derangement of the phenylalanine-tyrosine catabolic pathway. We analysed DNA of 40 AKU patients enrolled for SONIA1, the first study in DevelopAKUre, and of 59 other AKU patients sent to our laboratory for molecular diagnostics. We identified 12 novel DNA variants: one was identified in patients from Brazil (c.557T>A), Slovakia (c.500C>T) and France (c.440T>C), three in patients from India (c.469+6T>C, c.650-85A>G, c.158G>A), and six in patients from Italy (c.742A>G, c.614G>A, c.1057A>C, c.752G>A, c.119A>C, c.926G>T). Thus, the total number of potential AKU-causing variants found in 380 patients reported in the HGD mutation database is now 129. Using mCSM and DUET, computational approaches based on the protein 3D structure, the novel missense variants are predicted to affect the activity of the enzyme by three mechanisms: decrease of stability of individual protomers, disruption of protomer-protomer interactions or modification of residues in the region of the active site. We also present an overview of AKU in Italy, where so far about 60 AKU cases are known and DNA analysis has been reported for 34 of them. In this rather small group, 26 different HGD variants affecting function were described, indicating rather high heterogeneity. Twelve of these variants seem to be specific for Italy.European Journal

Extracellular Matrix Research, Rheumatology, Alkaptonuria
19. Mar 2015

Investigating the Robustness and Diagnostic Potential of Extracellular Matrix Remodelling Biomarkers in Alkaptonuria (1)

BACKGROUND AND AIM:
Alkaptonuria (AKU) clinical manifestations resemble severe arthritis. The Suitability of Nitisinone in Alkaptonuria 1 (SONIA 1) study is a dose-finding trial for nitisinone treatment of AKU patients. We tested a panel of serum and urinary biomarkers reflecting extracellular matrix remodelling (ECMR) of cartilage, bone and connective tissue in SONIA 1 patients to identify non-invasive and diagnostic biomarkers of tissue turnover in AKU.

METHODS:
Fasted serum and urine were retrieved from 40 SONIA 1 patients and 44 healthy controls. Established biomarkers of bone remodelling (CTX-I, P1NP, OC), cartilage remodelling (CTX-II, C2M, AGNx1) and inflammation (CRPM) as well as exploratory biomarkers of ECMR (C6M, VCANM, MIM, TIM) were measured at baseline in serum and urine by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) or automated systems (Elecsys 2010).

RESULTS:
The levels of bone resorption (CTX-I) and cartilage degradation (C2M) were elevated in AKU patients as compared to controls (p > 0.0001 and p = 0.03, respectively). Also tissue inflammation (CRPM) was elevated in AKU patients (p = 0.01). In addition all four exploratory biomarkers of ECMR (C6M, VCANM, MIM, TIM) were elevated in AKU patients compared to healthy controls. CTX-II was the only biomarker to be reduced in AKU patients. TIM was the only marker that showed a higher concentration than the normal assay range in AKU patients.

CONCLUSIONS:
We have identified new potential biomarkers for assessment of cartilage, bone and cardiovascular remodelling in AKU and demonstrated the robustness of the assays used to measure the biomarker concentration in biological fluids

Renal System, Chronic Renal Disease
26. Aug 2015

Turnover of type III collagen reflects disease severity and is associated with progression and microinflammation in patients with IgA nephropathy (1)

BACKGROUND:
Renal fibrosis is the hallmark of progression to end-stage kidney disease. Non-invasive biomarkers of renal fibrosis could serve as specific end points in clinical trials and improve monitoring and stratification of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). To address this, we measured markers of collagen type III turnover in urine and serum of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients.

METHODS:
We measured the collagen type III pro-peptide (Pro-C3), representing production, and a neo-epitope fragment (C3M), representing a specific degradation fragment of collagen type III, in urine and serum samples from two cohorts of IgAN patients using newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

RESULTS:
With increasing CKD stage, urinary C3M gradually decreased (mean C3M/creatinine: 17.3 ng/mg in CKD stage 1, 3.5 ng/mg in CKD stage 5) whereas urinary Pro-C3 gradually increased (mean Pro-C3/creatinine: 4.1 ng/mg in CKD stage 1, 20.8 ng/mg in CKD stage 5). The urinary Pro-C3/C3M ratio, a measure of collagen type III turnover, significantly increased in advanced CKD stages. Serum C3M was not related to CKD stage but was associated with microinflammation. Urinary C3M was significantly lower in patients whose CKD stage subsequently progressed compared with those who did not progress.

CONCLUSIONS:
Our results suggest that the combination of urinary markers of collagen type III turnover, in particular the urinary Pro-C3/C3M ratio, is a potential novel, non-invasive diagnostic and prognostic tool to specifically monitor extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling in kidney fibrosis

Extracellular Matrix Research, Hepatic System
22. Aug 2015

Collagen and tissue turnover as function of age - implications for fibrosis (1)

BACKGROUND:
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the backbone of all tissues. It is a complex grid consisting of multiple structural proteins which each play a vital role for the function and maintenance of normal tissue function. In development and growth, tissue is being formed and elaborated (tissue modeling), while in adult life, tissues are being maintained and remodeled. These processes involve likely different mechanisms. During tissue modeling and remodeling, small fragments of proteins are released into the circulation, where they may be used as biomarkers of tissue turnover.

AIM:
The aim of the study was to investigate ECM turnover in rodents as a function of age.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Serum of rats of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 12 months of age was profiled for 15 markers of ECM turnover, including: fragments of type I, II, III, IV, V and VI collagen formation (P1NP, P4NP_7S, Pro-C5, Pro-C6) and degradation (C1M, C2M, C2M-beta, C3M, C4M, C5M, C6M); biglycan (BGM) and elastin (ELM7) degradation; and the type I and II collagen telopeptides CTX-I and CTX-II.

RESULTS:
Type I and II collagen turnover was up to 93% and 97% downregulated in old (one year) compared to young (one month) old animals (p<0.0001), while type IV and V collagen and biglycan turnover was upregulated 2.5, 2 and 2-fold, respectively (p<0.0001). Type III and VI collagen and elastin turnover was not influenced significantly by age.

CONCLUSIONS:
ECM turnover rates were consistently different in young vs old animals, up to 30 fold. This appears to be due to body growth, a different ECM composition and a higher regenerative capability of connective tissues in young versus old animals. These changes have to be accounted for in translational science, both measuring serum levels of ECM biomarkers and in the development of therapies to speed up wound healing or inhibit fibrogenesis

Extracellular Matrix Research, Renal System, Chronic Renal Disease
30. Jul 2015

Serum and urine markers of collagen degradation reflect renal fibrosis in experimental kidney diseases (1)

BACKGROUND:
The extent of renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the best predictor for progression of most renal diseases. To date, no established biomarkers of renal fibrosis exist.

METHODS:
We measured circulating and urinary-specific matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-generated collagen type I and III degradation fragments (C1M and C3M) and an N-terminal propeptide of collagen III (Pro-C3), as markers of collagen type III production, in three rat models of CKD and fibrosis: renal mass reduction (5/6 nephrectomy), progressive glomerulonephritis (chronic anti-Thy1.1 nephritis) and adenine crystal-induced nephropathy. Healthy rats served as controls.

RESULTS:
In all three models, the animals developed significant CKD and renal fibrosis. Compared with healthy rats, serum C1M and C3M significantly increased in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy and adenine nephropathy (2- to 3-fold), but not with chronic anti-Thy1.1 nephritis. Urinary C1M and C3M levels increased 9- to 100-fold in all three models compared with controls. Urinary degradation markers correlated closely with renal deposition of collagen type I and type III. Pro-C3 was significantly increased only in the urine of 5/6 nephrectomy rats.

CONCLUSIONS:
In particular, urinary markers of MMP-driven collagen degradation, rather than collagen production markers, may represent a novel, specific and non-invasive diagnostic approach to assess kidney fibrosis

Extracellular Matrix Research, Hepatic System
15. May 2015

Novel insights into the function and dynamics of extracellular matrix in liver fibrosis (1)

Emerging evidence suggests that altered components and posttranslational modifications of proteins in the extracellular matrix (ECM) may both initiate and drive disease progression. The ECM is a complex grid consisting of multiple proteins, most of which play a vital role in containing the essential information needed for maintenance of a sophisticated structure anchoring the cells and sustaining normal function of tissues. Therefore, the matrix itself may be considered as a paracrine/endocrine entity, with more complex functions than previously appreciated. The aims of this review are to 1) explore key structural and functional components of the ECM as exemplified by monogenetic disorders leading to severe pathologies, 2) discuss selected pathological posttranslational modifications of ECM proteins resulting in altered functional (signaling) properties from the original structural proteins, and 3) discuss how these findings support the novel concept that an increasing number of components of the ECM harbor signaling functions that can modulate fibrotic liver disease. The ECM entails functions in addition to anchoring cells and modulating their migratory behavior. Key ECM components and their posttranslational modifications often harbor multiple domains with different signaling potential, in particular when modified during inflammation or wound healing. This signaling by the ECM should be considered a paracrine/endocrine function, as it affects cell phenotype, function, fate, and finally tissue homeostasis. These properties should be exploited to establish novel biochemical markers and antifibrotic treatment strategies for liver fibrosis as well as other fibrotic diseases.

Extracellular Matrix Research
1. Apr 2015

The importance of extracellular matrix for cell function and in vivo likeness (1)

OBJECTIVE:
Fibrotic diseases may be described as a disease of the extracellular matrix, where the balance between matrix formation and degradation has been shifted leading to an accumulation of matrix. Currently a fit for purpose model and readily available approach are adapted when doing cell cultures, which may not reflect physiology and pathophysiology optimally. The aim of this review is to draw special attention to the similarities and differences of current state of the art in vitro and ex vivo models, with special focus on the proteins, cell-cell interactions, and correct matrix composition, which may be a better representative of in vivo conditions in a disease where the extracellular matrix is the central player.

METHODS:
We reviewed current literature with emphasis on the role of the extracellular matrix in health and disease, different fibrotic disease models, and highlighting the importance of this when looking at translational science.

CONCLUSION:
To further our fibrotic research one paramount problem is to fundamentally understand the core of the disease, the production and degradation of the extracellular matrix. For a surprisingly long time the ECM has been underestimated until recently, with the discovery that the ECM may control cell phenotype through cell-matrix interactions. This highlights the need of a native ECM when investigating pathways and response to potential therapy. Clearly, both in vitro and in vivo models provide fit to purpose benefits, but in particular for the fibrosis field we may ask, do single cell cultures in monolayers recapitulate the complicated ECM environment controlling cell fate?

Hepatic System, Hepatitis B/C
29. Sep 2014

PRO-C3-levels in patients with HIV/HCV-Co-infection reflect fibrosis stage and degree of portal hypertension

BACKGROUND:
Liver-related deaths represent the leading cause of mortality among patients with HIV/HCV-co-infection, and are mainly related to complications of fibrosis and portal hypertension. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the structural changes by the assessment of extracellular matrix (ECM) derived degradation fragments in peripheral blood as biomarkers for fibrosis and portal hypertension in patients with HIV/HCV co-infection.

METHODS:
Fifty-eight patients (67% male, mean age: 36.5 years) with HIV/HCV-co-infection were included in the study. Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) was measured in forty-three patients. The fibrosis stage was determined using FIB4 -Score. ECM degraded products in peripheral blood were measured using specific ELISAs (C4M, MMP-2/9 degraded type IV collagen; C5M, MMP-2/9 degraded type V collagen; PRO-C3, MMP degraded n-terminal propeptide of type III collagen).

RESULTS:
As expected, HVPG showed strong and significant correlations with FIB4-index (rs = 0.628; p = 7*10-7). Interestingly, PRO-C3 significantly correlated with HVPG (rs = 0.354; p = 0.02), alanine aminotransferase (rs = 0.30; p = 0.038), as well as with FIB4-index (rs = 0.3230; p = 0.035). C4M and C5M levels were higher in patients with portal hypertension (HVPG>5 mmHg).

CONCLUSION:
PRO-C3 levels reflect liver injury, stage of liver fibrosis and degree of portal hypertension in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients. Furthermore, C4M and C5M were associated with increased portal pressure. Circulating markers of hepatic ECM remodeling might be helpful in the diagnosis and management of liver disease and portal hypertension in patients with HIV/HCV coinfection

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
12. Oct 2015

Inflammation (or synovitis)-driven osteoarthritis: an opportunity for personalizing prognosis and treatment

The disabling and painful disease osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Strong evidence suggests that a subpopulation of OA patients has a form of OA driven by inflammation. Consequently, understanding when inflammation is the driver of disease progression and which OA patients might benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment is a topic of intense research in the OA field. We have reviewed the current literature on OA, with an emphasis on inflammation in OA, biochemical markers of structural damage, and anti-inflammatory treatments for OA. The literature suggests that the OA patient population is diverse, consisting of several subpopulations, including one associated with inflammation. This inflammatory subpopulation may be identified by a combination of novel serological inflammatory biomarkers. Preliminary evidence from small clinical studies suggests that this subpopulation may benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment currently reserved for other inflammatory arthritides

Extracellular Matrix Research, Hepatitis B/C, Hepatic System
1. Feb 2015

Plasma Pro-C3 (N-terminal type III collagen propeptide) predicts fibrosis progression in patients with chronic hepatitis C

BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Fibrogenesis results in release of certain extracellular matrix protein fragments into the circulation. We evaluated the diagnostic and prognostic performance of two novel serological markers, the precisely cleaved N-terminal propeptide of type III collagen (Pro-C3) and a peptide of helical collagen type III degradation (C3M), in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients.

METHOD:
Pro-C3 and C3M were measured by ELISA in plasma from CHC patients (n = 194) from a prior phase II antifibrotic trial (NCT00244751). Plasma samples and paired liver biopsies were obtained at baseline and after 1-year. Patients were stratified according to Ishak stages 2-4. Internal cross-validation was performed by bootstrap analysis.

RESULTS:
Pro-C3 levels were significantly higher in CHC patients in Ishak stage 4 compared to stage 2 (P < 0.001) or 3 (P < 0.01). Pro-C3 could significantly distinguish moderate (stage 4) from mild fibrosis (stage 2/3) (AUC = 0.72, P < 0.001). Importantly, an overall significance in Pro-C3 (P = 0.007) levels was observed between the groups of -1, 0, +1 and +2 change in Ishak stage at 12 months. Pro-C3 was significantly increased in group +1 (P = 0.030) and +2 (P = 0.021) compared to group 0. No significant differences were observed for C3M. In multivariate analysis, only baseline Pro-C3, but not FibroTest, had an independent association with fibrosis progression.

CONCLUSIONS:
Pro-C3 is a useful test to predict fibrogenesis and monitor disease progression. Moreover, it could differentiate mild from moderate disease. Pro-C3 may become a promising blood parameter be included in future studies for monitoring disease progression and eventually for evaluation of potential antifibrotic therapies

Osteoarthritis, Rheumatology
17. Oct 2014

Cartilage turnover reflected by metabolic processing of type II collagen: a novel marker of anabolic function in chondrocytes

The aim of this study was to enable measurement of cartilage formation by a novel biomarker of type II collagen formation. The competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) Pro-C2 was developed and characterized for assessment of the beta splice variant of type II procollagen (PIIBNP). This is expected to originate primarily from remodeling of hyaline cartilage. A mouse monoclonal antibody (Mab) was raised in mouse, targeting specifically PIIBNP (QDVRQPG) and used in development of the assay. The specificity, sensitivity, 4-parameter fit and stability of the assay were tested. Levels of PIIBNP were quantified in human serum (0.6-2.2 nM), human amniotic fluid (163-188 nM) and sera from different animal species, e.g., fetal bovine serum (851-901 nM) with general good linearity (100% (SD 7.6) recovery) and good intra- and inter-assay variation (CV% < 10). Dose (0.1 to 100 ng/mL) and time (7, 14 and 21 days) dependent release of PIIBNP were evaluated in the conditioned medium from bovine cartilage explants (BEX) and human cartilage explants (HEX) upon stimulation with insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 and fibroblastic growth factor-2 (FGF-2). TGF-β1 and IGF-1 in concentrations of 10-100 ng/mL significantly (p < 0.05) induced release of PIIBNP in BEX compared to conditions without treatment (WO). In HEX, IGF-1 100 ng/mL was able to induce a significant increase of PIIBNP after one week compared to WO. FGF-2 did not induce a PIIBNP release in our models. To our knowledge this is the first assay, which is able to specifically evaluate PIIBNP excretion. The Pro-C2 assay seems to provide a promising and novel marker of type II collagen formation

Renal System, Extracellular Matrix Research
29. Oct 2014

Association of versican turnover with all-cause mortality in patients on haemodialysis

OBJECTIVE:
Cardiovascular diseases are among the most common causes of mortality in renal failure patients undergoing haemodialysis. A high turnover rate of the proteoglycan versican, represented by the increased presence of its fragmentation products in plasma, has previously been associated with cardiovascular diseases. The objective of the study was to investigate the association of versican turnover assessed in plasma with survival in haemodialysis patients.

METHODS:
A specific matrix metalloproteinase-generated neo-epitope fragment of versican (VCANM) was measured in plasma of 364 haemodialysis patients with a 5-years follow-up, using a robust competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. Association between VCANM plasma concentration and survival was assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and adjusted Cox model.

RESULTS:
Haemodialysis patients with plasma VCANM concentrations in the lowest quartile had increased risk of death (odds ratio, as compared to the highest quartile: 7.1, p<0.001), with a reduced survival of 152 days compared to 1295 days for patients with plasma VCANM in the highest quartile. Multivariate analysis showed that low VCANM (p<0.001) and older age (p<0.001) predicted death in haemodialysis patients.


CONCLUSIONS:
Low concentrations of the versican fragment VCANM in plasma were associated with higher risk of death among haemodialysis patients. A possible protective role for the examined versican fragment is suggested.

Respiratory System, Extracellular Matrix Research
29. Oct 2014

The role of extracellular matrix quality in pulmonary fibrosis

This review discusses the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) quality in the pathogenesis of pulmonary fibrosis (PF). In PF, the highly ordered structure of collagens and elastin within the ECM of the lung is severely disrupted and lacks its original tissue quality. Discussions about the ECM have focused on the role of protein quantity in relation to the progression of PF, while the importance of lung ECM quality, defined by the levels of ECM protein modifications and by the protein distribution in lung tissue, has not been properly addressed. The quality and function of proteins may be altered by different post-translational modifications (PTMs), such as cross-linking, proteolytic cleavage, citrullination, misfolding and glycosylation. This paper is the first to review key data from the literature related to the lung ECM at the molecular level, relate these to changes observed at a macroscopic level and evaluate which PTMs most likely contribute to PF. This paper also reviews the role of novel neo-epitope-specific biomarkers in the early diagnosis and prognosis of fibrotic disorders. We discuss and argue that the altered quality of the individual ECM proteins contributes to the progression of PF and may also lead to the increased quantity of lung proteins. Thus, both quantity and quality appear to be of utmost importance.

Rheumatology, Spondyloarthropathies
1. Mar 2015

Biological relevance of citrullinations: diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic options

OBJECTIVE:
Citrullination has become a hot topic within recent years due to its involvement in diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis and fibrosis. Citrullinations are the conversion of arginine to citrulline by peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) enzymes, which affect protein properties. The aim of this review is to summarize the advances in citrullination research and further explore the potential of citrullination as a diagnostic tool as well as inhibition of PAD enzymes as a target for treatment.

METHOD:
We reviewed current literature with emphasis on the role of citrullination in health and disease, the nature of enzymes responsible for citrullination, and the potential of applying citrullinations in diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.

CONCLUSION:
Current literature suggests that increased levels of citrullinated proteins are found in several if not all inflammatory diseases. In RA measurement of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) against citrullinated protein fragments are widely used as a prognostic biomarker. More recently, it has been indicated that levels of selected citrullinated proteins carries additional potential as biomarkers. This includes citrullinated vimentin which provide prognostic information in diseases as fibrosis and ankylosing spondylitis. In addition, recent studies suggest that inhibition of PAD is a target for treatment of diseases such as RA and cancer where proteins that are citrullinated are believed to influence the disease activity

Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, Respiratory System
16. Nov 2015

Levels of circulating MMP-7 degraded elastin are elevated in pulmonary disorders (1)

OBJECTIVES:
Elastin is a signature protein of the lungs. Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) is important in lung defence mechanisms and degrades elastin. However, MMP-7 activity in regard to elastin degradation has never been quantified serologically in patients with lung diseases. An assay for the quantification of MMP-7 generated elastin fragments (ELM7) was therefore developed to investigate MMP-7 derived elastin degradation in pulmonary disorders such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung cancer.

DESIGN AND METHODS:
Monoclonal antibodies (mABs) were raised against eight carefully selected MMP-7 cleavage sites on elastin. After characterisation and validation of the mABs, one mAB targeting the ELM7 fragment was chosen. ELM7 fragment levels were assessed in serum samples from patients diagnosed with IPF (n=123, baseline samples, CTgov reg. NCT00786201), and lung cancer (n=40) and compared with age- and sex-matched controls.

RESULTS:
The ELM7 assay was specific towards in vitro MMP-7 degraded elastin and the ELM7 neoepitope but not towards other MMP-7 derived elastin fragments. Serum ELM7 levels were significantly increased in IPF (113%, p<0.0001) and lung cancer (96%, p<0.0001) compared to matched controls.

CONCLUSIONS:
MMP-7-generated elastin fragments can be quantified in serum and may reflect pathological lung tissue turnover in several important lung diseases.

Extracellular Matrix Research
22. Aug 2015

Collagen and tissue turnover as function of age - implications for fibrosis

BACKGROUND:
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the backbone of all tissues. It is a complex grid consisting of multiple structural proteins which each play a vital role for the function and maintenance of normal tissue function. In development and growth, tissue is being formed and elaborated (tissue modeling), while in adult life, tissues are being maintained and remodeled. These processes involve likely different mechanisms. During tissue modeling and remodeling, small fragments of proteins are released into the circulation, where they may be used as biomarkers of tissue turnover.

AIM:
The aim of the study was to investigate ECM turnover in rodents as a function of age.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Serum of rats of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10 and 12 months of age was profiled for 15 markers of ECM turnover, including: fragments of type I, II, III, IV, V and VI collagen formation (P1NP, P4NP_7S, Pro-C5, Pro-C6) and degradation (C1M, C2M, C2M-beta, C3M, C4M, C5M, C6M); biglycan (BGM) and elastin (ELM7) degradation; and the type I and II collagen telopeptides CTX-I and CTX-II.

RESULTS:
Type I and II collagen turnover was up to 93% and 97% downregulated in old (one year) compared to young (one month) old animals (p<0.0001), while type IV and V collagen and biglycan turnover was upregulated 2.5, 2 and 2-fold, respectively (p<0.0001). Type III and VI collagen and elastin turnover was not influenced significantly by age.

CONCLUSIONS:
ECM turnover rates were consistently different in young vs old animals, up to 30 fold. This appears to be due to body growth, a different ECM composition and a higher regenerative capability of connective tissues in young versus old animals. These changes have to be accounted for in translational science, both measuring serum levels of ECM biomarkers and in the development of therapies to speed up wound healing or inhibit fibrogenesis.

Extracellular Matrix Research, Renal System, Chronic Renal Disease
26. Apr 2015

Turnover of type III collagen reflects disease severity and is associated with progression and microinflammation in patients with IgA nephropathy

BACKGROUND:
Renal fibrosis is the hallmark of progression to end-stage kidney disease. Non-invasive biomarkers of renal fibrosis could serve as specific end points in clinical trials and improve monitoring and stratification of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). To address this, we measured markers of collagen type III turnover in urine and serum of IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients.

METHODS:
We measured the collagen type III pro-peptide (Pro-C3), representing production, and a neo-epitope fragment (C3M), representing a specific degradation fragment of collagen type III, in urine and serum samples from two cohorts of IgAN patients using newly developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays.

RESULTS:
With increasing CKD stage, urinary C3M gradually decreased (mean C3M/creatinine: 17.3 ng/mg in CKD stage 1, 3.5 ng/mg in CKD stage 5) whereas urinary Pro-C3 gradually increased (mean Pro-C3/creatinine: 4.1 ng/mg in CKD stage 1, 20.8 ng/mg in CKD stage 5). The urinary Pro-C3/C3M ratio, a measure of collagen type III turnover, significantly increased in advanced CKD stages. Serum C3M was not related to CKD stage but was associated with microinflammation. Urinary C3M was significantly lower in patients whose CKD stage subsequently progressed compared with those who did not progress.

CONCLUSIONS:
Our results suggest that the combination of urinary markers of collagen type III turnover, in particular the urinary Pro-C3/C3M ratio, is a potential novel, non-invasive diagnostic and prognostic tool to specifically monitor extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling in kidney fibrosis.

Hepatitis B/C, Hepatic System
25. Sep 2015

Markers of Collagen Remodeling Detect Clinically Significant Fibrosis in Chronic Hepatitis C Patients

BACKGROUND AND AIM:
Detection of advanced fibrosis (Metavir F≥3) is important to identify patients with a high urgency of antiviral treatments vs. those whose treatment could be deferred (F≤2). The aim was to assess the diagnostic value of novel serological extracellular matrix protein fragments as potential biomarkers for clinically significant and advanced fibrosis.

METHODS:
Specific protein fragments of matrix metalloprotease degraded type I, III, IV and VI collagen (C1M, C3M, C4M, C6M) and type III and IV collagen formation (Pro-C3 and P4NP7S) were assessed in plasma from 403 chronic hepatitis C patients by specific ELISAs. Patients were stratified according to Metavir Fibrosis stage; F0 (n = 46), F1 (n = 161), F2 (n = 95), F3 (n = 44) and F4 (n = 33) based on liver biopsy.

RESULTS:
Pro-C3 was significantly elevated in patients with significant fibrosis (≥F2) compared to F0-F1 (p<0.05), while the markers C3M, C4M, C6M and P4NP7S were significantly elevated in patients with advanced fibrosis (≥F3) compared to F0-F2 (p<0.05). C1M showed no difference between fibrosis stages. Using Receiver Operating Characteristics analysis, the best marker for detecting ≥F2 and ≥F3 was Pro-C3 with AUC = 0.75 and AUC = 0.86. Combination of Pro-C3 and C4M with age, BMI and gender in a multiple ordered logistic regression model improved the diagnostic value for detecting ≥F2 and ≥F3 with AUC = 0.80 and AUC = 0.88.

CONCLUSION:
The Pro-C3 protein fragment provided clinically relevant diagnostic accuracy as a single marker of liver fibrosis. A model combining Pro-C3 and C4M along with patient's age, body mass index and gender increased the diagnostic power for identifying clinically significant fibrosis.

Oncology, Breast, Extracellular Matrix Research
3. Aug 2015

Collagen degradation products measured in serum can separate ovarian and breast cancer patients from healthy controls: A preliminary study

BACKGROUND:
During cancer the otherwise tightly controlled homeostasis of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is disturbed. The protein composition changes, the ECM stiffens and increased levels of proteases are secreted. The combination of these processes result in release of specific protein fragments (e.g. collagens) to the circulation, which when measured may reflect disease pathogenesis.

OBJECTIVE:
To investigate if biomarkers of protease-degraded collagen could differentiate ovarian and breast cancer patients from healthy controls when measured in serum.

METHODS:
The levels of markers reflecting MMP-degradation of type I (C1M), type III (C3M) and type IV (C4M, C4M12) collagen were assessed in serum from ovarian cancer patients (n= 10), breast cancer patients (n= 14) and healthy controls (n= 49) using validated ELISAs. The markers were compared using one way ANOVA and AUC was calculated.

RESULTS:
All markers were significantly elevated in serum from ovarian cancer patients (p< 0.0001) and breast cancer patients (p< 0.04-0.0001) compared to healthy controls. Furthermore, diagnostically the markers were able to differentiate ovarian (AUROC 90%-93%) and breast cancer patients (AUROC 76%-93%) from healthy controls, with C1M being the strongest differentiator of disease vs. controls.

CONCLUSION:
Four serum biomarkers reflecting altered MMP-mediated collagen turnover were able to differentiate ovarian and breast cancer patients from healthy controls.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
20. Oct 2015

Inflammation (or synovitis)-driven osteoarthritis: an opportunity for personalizing prognosis and treatment?

The disabling and painful disease osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis. Strong evidence suggests that a subpopulation of OA patients has a form of OA driven by inflammation. Consequently, understanding when inflammation is the driver of disease progression and which OA patients might benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment is a topic of intense research in the OA field. We have reviewed the current literature on OA, with an emphasis on inflammation in OA, biochemical markers of structural damage, and anti-inflammatory treatments for OA. The literature suggests that the OA patient population is diverse, consisting of several subpopulations, including one associated with inflammation. This inflammatory subpopulation may be identified by a combination of novel serological inflammatory biomarkers. Preliminary evidence from small clinical studies suggests that this subpopulation may benefit from anti-inflammatory treatment currently reserved for other inflammatory arthritides.

Bone, Osteoporosis
27. Oct 2015

Role of biochemical markers in the management of osteoporosis

Estrogen and bone health form a cornerstone of osteoporosis management. Diagnosis of osteoporosis is performed using bone mineral density (BMD), despite the limitations associated with this. Within the last 25 years, numerous bone turnover markers (BTM) have been developed, and this has led to a marked improvement in drug development for osteoporosis and understanding of fast bone losers. Estrogen research has provided landmark research on understanding the relationship between osteoporosis and BTMs. Clinical studies have illustrated how measurement of BTMs can assist in prediction of rapid bone loss, future fractures and, most importantly, the fracture efficacy of drugs. The BTMs provide information independent of BMD and fracture history. In addition, changes in bone turnover within 1 month predict later changes in BMD, which allows for early efficacy and prognostic measures. The aim is to provide a careful review of the possibilities that implementation of BTMs into clinical practice have provided, while placed in a historical context. The primary focus is on how the BTMs have revolutionized clinical trials on osteoporosis drugs through their ability to supplement bone mass measurements and fracture efficacy endpoints.Estrogen and bone health form a cornerstone of osteoporosis management. Diagnosis of osteoporosis is performed using bone mineral density (BMD), despite the limitations associated with this. Within the last 25 years, numerous bone turnover markers (BTM) have been developed, and this has led to a marked improvement in drug development for osteoporosis and understanding of fast bone losers. Estrogen research has provided landmark research on understanding the relationship between osteoporosis and BTMs. Clinical studies have illustrated how measurement of BTMs can assist in prediction of rapid bone loss, future fractures and, most importantly, the fracture efficacy of drugs. The BTMs provide information independent of BMD and fracture history. In addition, changes in bone turnover within 1 month predict later changes in BMD, which allows for early efficacy and prognostic measures. The aim is to provide a careful review of the possibilities that implementation of BTMs into clinical practice have provided, while placed in a historical context. The primary focus is on how the BTMs have revolutionized clinical trials on osteoporosis drugs through their ability to supplement bone mass measurements and fracture efficacy endpoints.

Extracellular Matrix Research
30. Apr 2015

Matrix Metalloproteinase Mediated Type I Collagen Degradation - An Independent Risk Factor for Mortality in Women

Chronic fibro-proliferative diseases are associated with nearly 45% of all deaths in the developed world. Matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) mediated remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays an important role in disease development. Degradation of type I collagen is considered having a major role in this matter. C1M is a biomarker measuring type I collagen degradation fragments in blood. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether MMP mediated type I collagen degradation (C1M) was predictive of mortality in a large prospective cohort of Danish women aged 48-89 (n = 5855). Subjects with high serum C1M showed significant increased mortality. The adjusted three year HR was 2.02 [95% CI: 1.48-2.76] for all-cause mortality, 2.32 [95% CI: 1.51-3.56] for cancer and 1.77 [95% CI: 0.98-3.17] for cardiovascular diseases. The adjusted nine year HR was 1.50 [95% CI: 1.28-1.75] for all-cause mortality, 1.49 [95% CI: 1.16-1.90] for cancer and 1.69 [95% CI: 1.27-2.24] for cardiovascular diseases. High MMP-mediated type I collagen degradation was associated with increased mortality. Subjects with high C1M had a 2-fold increase in mortality compared to subjects with low levels of this collagen degradation product.

Clinical Data Quality
1. Apr 2015

Impact of source data verification on data quality in clinical trials: an empirical post hoc analysis of three phase 3 randomized clinical trials

AIM:
The aim of this project was to perform an empirical evaluation of the impact of on site source data verification (SDV) on the data quality in a clinical trial database to guide an informed decision on selection of the monitoring approach.

METHODS:
We used data from three randomized phase III trials monitored with a combination of complete SDV or partial SDV. After database lock, individual subject data were extracted from the clinical database and subjected to post hoc complete SDV. Error rates were calculated with focus on the degree of on study monitoring and relevance and analyzed for potential impact on end points.

RESULTS:
Data from a total of 2566 subjects including more than 3 million data fields were 100% source data verified post hoc. An overall error rate of 0.45% was found. No sites had 0% errors. 100% SDV yielded an error rate of 0.27% as compared with partial SDV having an error rate of 0.53% (P < 0.0001). Comparing partly and fully monitored subjects, minor differences were identified between variables of major importance to efficacy or safety.

CONCLUSIONS:
The findings challenge the notion that a 0% error rate is obtainable with on site monitoring. Data indicate consistently low error rates across the three trials analyzed. The use of complete vs. partial SDV offers a marginal absolute error rate reduction of 0.26%, i.e. a need to perform complete SDV of about 370 data points to avoid one unspecified error and does not support complete SDV as a means of providing meaningful improvements in data accuracy.

Respiratory System, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
1. Jul 2015

Clinical Drug Development Using Dynamic Biomarkers to Enable Personalized Health Care in COPD

Despite massive investments in the development of novel treatments for heterogeneous diseases such as COPD, the resources spent have only benefited a fraction of the population treated. Personalized health care to guide selection of a suitable patient population already in the clinical development of new compounds could offer a solution. This review discusses past successes and failures in drug development and biomarker research in COPD, describes research in COPD phenotypes and the required characteristics of a suitable biomarker for identifying patients at higher risk of progression, and examines the role of extracellular matrix proteins found to be upregulated in COPD. Novel biomarkers of connective tissue remodeling that may provide added value for a personalized approach by detecting subgroups of patients with active disease suitable for pharmacologic intervention are discussed.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Aug 2015

Call for standardized definitions of osteoarthritis and risk stratification for clinical trials and clinical use

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a heterogeneous disorder. The goals of this review are (1) To stimulate use of standardized nomenclature for OA that could serve as building blocks for describing OA and defining OA phenotypes, in short to provide unifying disease concepts for a heterogeneous disorder; and (2) To stimulate establishment of ROAD (Risk of OA Development) and ROAP (Risk of OA Progression) tools analogous to the FRAX™ instrument for predicting risk of fracture in osteoporosis; and (3) To stimulate formulation of tools for identifying disease in its early preradiographic and/or molecular stages - REDI (Reliable Early Disease Identification). Consensus around more sensitive and specific diagnostic criteria for OA could spur development of disease modifying therapies for this entity that has proved so recalcitrant to date. We fully acknowledge that as we move forward, we expect to develop more sophisticated definitions, terminology and tools.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Apr 2015

OA phenotypes, rather than disease stage, drive structural progression--identification of structural progressors from 2 phase III randomized clinical studies with symptomatic knee OA

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE:
The aim of this study was to identify key characteristics of disease progression through investigation of the association of radiographic progression over two years with baseline Joint Space Width (JSW), Kellgren-Lawrence (KL) grade, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) pain, Joint Space Narrowing (JSN), and BMI.

METHODS:
Data from 2206 subjects (4390 knees) were combined for this post-hoc analysis of two randomized, double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled phase III trials (NCT00486434 and NCT00704847) that evaluated the efficacy and safety of 2-years treatment with oral salmon calcitonin of subjects with painful knee osteoarthritis (OA).

RESULTS:
There was a clear positive and significant correlation between KL grade and WOMAC pain and total WOMAC, albeit the variance in pain measures was from min-to-max for all KL categories, emphasizing the heterogeneity of this patient population and pain perception. 32% of target knees did not progress, and only 51% had changes over minimum significant change (MSC). BMI, KL-Score and WOMAC pain was diagnostic, but only KL-score and pain had prognostic value, albeit pain in a non-linear manner.

CONCLUSION:
These data clearly describe significant associations between KL grade, JSW, pain and BMI in patients with symptomatic knee OA. KL grade, BMI and WOMAC pain were diagnostically associated with OA based on JSW but only KL-score and pain in a non-linier fashion was prognostic. 50% of patients did not progress more than MSC, highlighting the importance for identification of structural progressors and the phenotypes associated with these. These results suggest that disease phenotypes, rather than disease status, are responsible for disease progression.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
3. Jul 2015

Circulating Elastin Fragments Are Not Affected by Hepatic, Renal and Hemodynamic Changes, But Reflect Survival in Cirrhosis with TIPS

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
Progressive fibrosis increases hepatic resistance and causes portal hypertension with complications. During progressive fibrosis remodeling and deposition of collagens and elastin occur. Elastin remodeling is crucially involved in fibrosis progression in animal models and human data. This study investigated the association of circulating elastin with the clinical outcome in cirrhotic patients with severe portal hypertension receiving transjugular intrahepatic porto-systemic shunt (TIPS).

METHODS:
We analyzed portal and hepatic venous samples of 110 cirrhotic patients obtained at TIPS insertion and 2 weeks later. The circulating levels of elastin fragments (ELM) were determined using specific monoclonal ELISA. The relationship of ELM with clinical short-time follow-up and long-term outcome was investigated.

RESULTS:
Circulating levels of ELM showed a gradient across the liver before TIPS with higher levels in the hepatic vein. Interestingly, the circulating ELM levels remained unchanged after TIPS. The circulating levels of ELM in portal and hepatic veins correlated with platelet counts and inversely with serum sodium. Hepatic venous levels of ELM were higher in CHILD C compared to CHILD A and B and were associated with the presence of ascites. Patients with high levels of ELM in the hepatic veins before TIPS showed poorer survival. In multivariate analysis ELM levels in the hepatic veins and MELD were independent predictors of mortality in these patients.

CONCLUSION:
This study demonstrated that circulating levels of ELM are not associated with hemodynamic changes, but might reflect fibrosis remodeling and predict survival in patients with severe portal hypertension receiving TIPS independently of MELD.

Respiratory System, Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
9. Jul 2015

Levels of circulating MMP-7 degraded elastin are elevated in pulmonary disorders

OBJECTIVES:
Elastin is a signature protein of the lungs. Matrix metalloproteinase-7 (MMP-7) is important in lung defence mechanisms and degrades elastin. However, MMP-7 activity in regard to elastin degradation has never been quantified serologically in patients with lung diseases. An assay for the quantification of MMP-7 generated elastin fragments (ELM7) was therefore developed to investigate MMP-7 derived elastin degradation in pulmonary disorders such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and lung cancer.

DESIGN AND METHODS:
Monoclonal antibodies (mABs) were raised against eight carefully selected MMP-7 cleavage sites on elastin. After characterisation and validation of the mABs, one mAB targeting the ELM7 fragment was chosen. ELM7 fragment levels were assessed in serum samples from patients diagnosed with IPF (n=123, baseline samples, CTgov reg. NCT00786201), and lung cancer (n=40) and compared with age- and sex-matched controls.

RESULTS:
The ELM7 assay was specific towards in vitro MMP-7 degraded elastin and the ELM7 neoepitope but not towards other MMP-7 derived elastin fragments. Serum ELM7 levels were significantly increased in IPF (113%, p<0.0001) and lung cancer (96%, p<0.0001) compared to matched controls.

CONCLUSIONS:
MMP-7-generated elastin fragments can be quantified in serum and may reflect pathological lung tissue turnover in several important lung diseases.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Respiratory System
11. Jun 2015

Accelerated extracellular matrix turnover during exacerbations of COPD

BACKGROUND:
Exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) contribute significantly to disease progression. However, the effect on tissue structure and turnover is not well described. There is an urgent clinical need for biomarkers of disease activity associated with disease progression. Extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover reflects activity in tissues and consequently assessment of ECM turnover may serve as biomarkers of disease activity. We hypothesized that the turnover of lung ECM proteins were altered during exacerbations of COPD.

METHODS:
69 patients with COPD hospitalised for an exacerbation were recruited at admission and returned for a 4 weeks follow-up. Competitive ELISAs measuring circulating protein fragments in serum or plasma assessed the formation and degradation of collagen types III (Pro-C3 and C3M, respectively), IV (P4NP 7S and C4M, respectively), and VI (Pro-C6 and C6M, respectively), and degradation of elastin (ELM7 and EL-NE) and versican (VCANM).

RESULTS:
Circulating levels of C3M, C4M, C6M, ELM7, and EL-NE were elevated during an exacerbation of COPD as compared to follow-up (all P <0.0001), while VCANM levels were decreased (P <0.0001). Pro-C6 levels were decreased and P4NP 7S levels were elevated during exacerbation (P <0.0001). Pro-C3 levels were unchanged. At time of exacerbation, degradation/formation ratios were increased for collagen types III and VI and decreased for collagen type IV.

CONCLUSIONS:
Exacerbations of COPD resulted in elevated levels of circulating fragments of structural proteins, which may serve as markers of disease activity. This suggests that patients with COPD have accelerated ECM turnover during exacerbations which may be related to disease progression.

Respiratory System, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
3. May 2015

Serological assessment of neutrophil elastase activity on elastin during lung ECM remodeling

BACKGROUND:
During the pathological destruction of lung tissue, neutrophil elastase (NE) degrades elastin, one of the major constituents of lung parenchyma. However there are no non-invasive methods to quantify NE degradation of elastin. We selected specific elastin fragments generated by NE for antibody generation and developed an ELISA assay (EL-NE) for the quantification of NE-degraded elastin.

METHODS:
Monoclonal antibodies were developed against 10 NE-specific cleavage sites on elastin. One EL-NE assay was tested for analyte stability, linearity and intra- and inter-assay variation. The NE specificity was demonstrated using elastin cleaved in vitro with matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), cathepsin G (CatG), NE and intact elastin. Clinical relevance was assessed by measuring levels of NE-generated elastin fragments in serum of patients diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF, n = 10) or lung cancer (n = 40).

RESULTS:
Analyte recovery of EL-NE for human serum was between 85% and 104%, the analyte was stable for four freeze/thaw cycles and after 24 h storage at 4°C. EL-NE was specific for NE-degraded elastin. Levels of NE-generated elastin fragments for elastin incubated in the presence of NE were 900% to 4700% higher than those seen with CatG or MMP incubation or in intact elastin. Serum levels of NE-generated elastin fragments were significantly increased in patients with IPF (137%, p = 0.002) and in patients with lung cancer (510%, p < 0.001) compared with age- and sex-matched controls.

CONCLUSIONS:
The EL-NE assay was specific for NE-degraded elastin. The EL-NE assay was able to specifically quantify NE-degraded elastin in serum. Serum levels of NE-degraded elastin might be used to detect excessive lung tissue degradation in lung cancer and IPF.

Hepatic System, Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
15. May 2015

Novel insights into the function and dynamics of extracellular matrix in liver fibrosis

Emerging evidence suggests that altered components and posttranslational modifications of proteins in the extracellular matrix (ECM) may both initiate and drive disease progression. The ECM is a complex grid consisting of multiple proteins, most of which play a vital role in containing the essential information needed for maintenance of a sophisticated structure anchoring the cells and sustaining normal function of tissues. Therefore, the matrix itself may be considered as a paracrine/endocrine entity, with more complex functions than previously appreciated. The aims of this review are to 1) explore key structural and functional components of the ECM as exemplified by monogenetic disorders leading to severe pathologies, 2) discuss selected pathological posttranslational modifications of ECM proteins resulting in altered functional (signaling) properties from the original structural proteins, and 3) discuss how these findings support the novel concept that an increasing number of components of the ECM harbor signaling functions that can modulate fibrotic liver disease. The ECM entails functions in addition to anchoring cells and modulating their migratory behavior. Key ECM components and their posttranslational modifications often harbor multiple domains with different signaling potential, in particular when modified during inflammation or wound healing. This signaling by the ECM should be considered a paracrine/endocrine function, as it affects cell phenotype, function, fate, and finally tissue homeostasis. These properties should be exploited to establish novel biochemical markers and antifibrotic treatment strategies for liver fibrosis as well as other fibrotic diseases.

1. Jun 2015

Longitudinal change in collagen degradation biomarkers in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis: an analysis from the prospective, multicentre PROFILE study

BACKGROUND:
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and inevitably fatal disorder, has a highly variable clinical course. Biomarkers that reflect disease activity are urgently needed to inform patient management and for use as biomarkers of therapeutic response (theragnostic biomarkers) in clinical trials. We aimed to determine whether dynamic change in markers of extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover predicts progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis as determined by change in forced vital capacity and death.

METHODS:
In this ongoing prospective, multicentre, observational cohort study (PROFILE), participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis or idiopathic non-specific interstitial pneumonia diagnosed within the preceding 6 months were recruited from two coordinating centres (Nottingham, UK, and, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, UK). Serum samples were prospectively collected at baseline, 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months and were analysed for a panel of novel matrix metalloprotease (MMP)-degraded ECM proteins, by ELISA-based, neoepitope assay. 11 neoepitopes were tested in a discovery cohort of 55 patients to identify biomarkers of sufficient rigour for more detailed analyses. Eight were then further assessed in a validation cohort of 134 patients with 50 age-matched and sex-matched controls. Changes in biomarker concentrations were related to subsequent progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (defined as death or decline in forced vital capacity >10% at 12 months after study enrolment) using a repeated measures model. The PROFILE study is registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT01134822 and NCT01110694.

FINDINGS:
Of 214 eligible participants recruited between Sept 1, 2010, and March 31, 2012, 189 had a confirmed diagnosis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and were included in subsequent analyses. In the discovery cohort, mean concentrations of seven neoepitopes (BGM, p=0·009; C1M, p=0·009; C3M, p=0·046; C6M, p=0·032; CRPM, p=0·008; ELM2, p=0·02; and VICM, p=0·0007) differed significantly between healthy controls and participants with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Baseline concentrations of six neoepitopes (C1M, p=0·012; C3A, p=0·012; C3M, p=0·0005; C6M, p=0·0003; CRPM, p=0·021; and VICM, p=0·046) were significantly higher in patients with progressive idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (n=32) than in those with stable disease (n=23). In the validation cohort, mean concentrations of C1M (p=0·001), C3M (p=0·044), C6M (p=0·003), and CRPM (p=0·024) at baseline were higher in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis than in healthy controls. When assessed longitudinally, concentrations of six neoepitopes (BGM, C1M, C3A, C3M, C6M, and CRPM) were significantly higher in patients with progressive idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (n=71) than in patients with stable idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (n=60) by 6 months. Baseline concentrations of two neoepitopes were associated with increased mortality (C1M: HR 1·62 [95% CI 1·14-2·31], p=0·0069; C3A: 1·91 [1·06-3·46], p=0·032). The rate of change between baseline and 3 months of six neoepitopes (BGM: HR 1·084 [95% CI 1·03-1·14], p=0·0019; C1M: 1·01 [1·003-1·017], p=0·0039; C3M: 1·106 [1·045-1·170], p=0·0005; C5M: 1·003 [1·001-1·005], p=0·0011; C6M: 1·042 [1·007-1·078], p=0·017; and CRPM: 1·38 [1·16-1·63], p=0·0002) was strongly predictive of overall survival, and the increased risk was proportional to the magnitude of change in neoepitope concentrations. The strongest association with 3-month rate of biomarker change was recorded for CRPM; greater than 0 ng/mL per month conferred a HR of 2·16 (95% CI 1·15-4·07), whereas a rate greater than 1 ng/mL per month resulted in an HR 4·08 (2·14-7·8), and a rate greater than 1·7 ng/mL per month was associated with an HR 6·61 (2·74-15·94).

INTERPRETATION:
Concentrations of protein fragments generated by MMP activity are increased in the serum of individuals with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis compared with healthy controls. Increased neoepitope concentrations were associated with disease progression, and the rate of this increase predicted survival. Serial measurements of neoepitopes have potential to be used as theragnostic biomarkers in clinical trials and to guide management of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

FUNDING:
GlaxoSmithKline R&D and the Medical Research Council.

Renal System, Chronic Renal Disease
1. Jul 2015

Serum and urine markers of collagen degradation reflect renal fibrosis in experimental kidney diseases

BACKGROUND:
The extent of renal fibrosis in chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the best predictor for progression of most renal diseases. To date, no established biomarkers of renal fibrosis exist.

METHODS:
We measured circulating and urinary-specific matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-generated collagen type I and III degradation fragments (C1M and C3M) and an N-terminal propeptide of collagen III (Pro-C3), as markers of collagen type III production, in three rat models of CKD and fibrosis: renal mass reduction (5/6 nephrectomy), progressive glomerulonephritis (chronic anti-Thy1.1 nephritis) and adenine crystal-induced nephropathy. Healthy rats served as controls.

RESULTS:
In all three models, the animals developed significant CKD and renal fibrosis. Compared with healthy rats, serum C1M and C3M significantly increased in rats with 5/6 nephrectomy and adenine nephropathy (2- to 3-fold), but not with chronic anti-Thy1.1 nephritis. Urinary C1M and C3M levels increased 9- to 100-fold in all three models compared with controls. Urinary degradation markers correlated closely with renal deposition of collagen type I and type III. Pro-C3 was significantly increased only in the urine of 5/6 nephrectomy rats.

CONCLUSIONS:
In particular, urinary markers of MMP-driven collagen degradation, rather than collagen production markers, may represent a novel, specific and non-invasive diagnostic approach to assess kidney fibrosis.

Rheumatology, Gout
1. Jan 2015

Investigating the Robustness and Diagnostic Potential of Extracellular Matrix Remodelling Biomarkers in Alkaptonuria

BACKGROUND AND AIM:
Alkaptonuria (AKU) clinical manifestations resemble severe arthritis. The Suitability of Nitisinone in Alkaptonuria 1 (SONIA 1) study is a dose-finding trial for nitisinone treatment of AKU patients. We tested a panel of serum and urinary biomarkers reflecting extracellular matrix remodelling (ECMR) of cartilage, bone and connective tissue in SONIA 1 patients to identify non-invasive and diagnostic biomarkers of tissue turnover in AKU.

METHODS:
Fasted serum and urine were retrieved from 40 SONIA 1 patients and 44 healthy controls. Established biomarkers of bone remodelling (CTX-I, P1NP, OC), cartilage remodelling (CTX-II, C2M, AGNx1) and inflammation (CRPM) as well as exploratory biomarkers of ECMR (C6M, VCANM, MIM, TIM) were measured at baseline in serum and urine by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) or automated systems (Elecsys 2010).

RESULTS:
The levels of bone resorption (CTX-I) and cartilage degradation (C2M) were elevated in AKU patients as compared to controls (p > 0.0001 and p = 0.03, respectively). Also tissue inflammation (CRPM) was elevated in AKU patients (p = 0.01). In addition all four exploratory biomarkers of ECMR (C6M, VCANM, MIM, TIM) were elevated in AKU patients compared to healthy controls. CTX-II was the only biomarker to be reduced in AKU patients. TIM was the only marker that showed a higher concentration than the normal assay range in AKU patients.

CONCLUSIONS:
We have identified new potential biomarkers for assessment of cartilage, bone and cardiovascular remodelling in AKU and demonstrated the robustness of the assays used to measure the biomarker concentration in biological fluids.

Hepatic System, Alcoholic Liver Disease
1. May 2015

Pro-C5, a marker of true type V collagen formation and fibrillation, correlates with portal hypertension in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
The hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) is an important but invasive diagnostic and prognostic marker in cirrhotic patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate a novel biochemical plasma marker of true type V collagen formation (Pro-C5) for describing HVPG.

METHODS:
Ninety-four patients mainly with alcoholic cirrhosis and fourteen liver-healthy controls were included in a retrospective study. Relevant clinical and routine laboratory data and hemodynamics were determined. Plasma Pro-C5 was correlated to HVPG and liver function parameters. Furthermore, Pro-C5 was combined in a linear regression model.

RESULTS:
Plasma Pro-C5 correlated to HVPG, indocyanine green clearance, sustained vascular resistance and mean arterial pressure (r = -0.68-0.33, p < 0.0001). A multiple regression analysis including Pro-C5, alanine aminotransferase, bilirubin and model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) improved the correlation to HVPG (r = 0.74, p < 0.0001). Plasma Pro-C5 was positively or negatively correlated to a number of routine liver function markers and MELD score (r = 0.27-0.68; p < 0.05-0.0001). Furthermore, plasma Pro-C5 could clearly separate patients with a HVPG <10 mmHg or HVPG ≥10 mmHg (p < 0.001, area under the curve (AUC) = 0.73), HVPG 10-<16 mmHg or HVPG ≥16 mmHg (p < 0.001, AUC = 0.68) and controls from diseased patients (p < 0.0001, AUC = 0.88). Finally, there was a clear relation to increasing Child score A-C and plasma Pro-C5 (ANOVA p < 0.001).

CONCLUSION:
Plasma Pro-C5 reflects liver hemodynamics, liver function, disease stage and clinically significant portal hypertension (PH). A multimarker model in combination with clinical scores predicted HVPG and separated clinical relevant HVPG thresholds. Plasma Pro-C5 may be suitable for the noninvasive evaluation of PH in patients with cirrhosis.

Extracellular Matrix Research
1. Apr 2015

The importance of extracellular matrix for cell function and in vivo likeness

OBJECTIVE:
Fibrotic diseases may be described as a disease of the extracellular matrix, where the balance between matrix formation and degradation has been shifted leading to an accumulation of matrix. Currently a fit for purpose model and readily available approach are adapted when doing cell cultures, which may not reflect physiology and pathophysiology optimally. The aim of this review is to draw special attention to the similarities and differences of current state of the art in vitro and ex vivo models, with special focus on the proteins, cell-cell interactions, and correct matrix composition, which may be a better representative of in vivo conditions in a disease where the extracellular matrix is the central player.

METHODS:
We reviewed current literature with emphasis on the role of the extracellular matrix in health and disease, different fibrotic disease models, and highlighting the importance of this when looking at translational science.

CONCLUSION:
To further our fibrotic research one paramount problem is to fundamentally understand the core of the disease, the production and degradation of the extracellular matrix. For a surprisingly long time the ECM has been underestimated until recently, with the discovery that the ECM may control cell phenotype through cell-matrix interactions. This highlights the need of a native ECM when investigating pathways and response to potential therapy. Clearly, both in vitro and in vivo models provide fit to purpose benefits, but in particular for the fibrosis field we may ask, do single cell cultures in monolayers recapitulate the complicated ECM environment controlling cell fate?

Gastrointestinal, Inflammatory Bowel Disease
1. Oct 2015

Fragments of Citrullinated and MMP-degraded Vimentin and MMP-degraded Type III Collagen Are Novel Serological Biomarkers to Differentiate Crohn's Disease from Ulcerative Colitis

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:
A hallmark of inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] is chronic inflammation, which leads to excessive extracellular matrix [ECM] remodelling and release of specific protein fragments, called neoepitopes. We speculated that the biomarker profile panel for ulcerative colitis [UC] and Crohn's disease [CD] represent a heterogeneous expression pattern, and may be applied as a tool to aid in the differentiation between UC and CD.

METHODS:
Serum biomarkers of degraded collagens I, III-IV [C1M, C3M, and C4M], collagen type 1 and IV formation [P1NP, P4NP], and citrullinated and MMP-degraded vimentin [VICM] were studied with a competitive ELISA assay system in a cohort including 164 subjects [CD n = 72, UC n = 60, and non-IBD controls n = 32] and a validation cohort of 61 subjects [CD n = 46, and UC n = 15]. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and logistic regression modelling were carried out to evaluate the discriminative power of the biomarkers.

RESULTS:
All biomarkers were corrected for confounding factors. VICM and C3M demonstrated the highest diagnostic power, alone, to differentiate CD from UC with an area under the curve [AUC] of 0.77 and 0.69, respectively. Furthermore, the biomarkers C1M [AUC = 0.81], C3M [AUC = 0.83], VICM [AUC = 0.83], and P1NP [AUC = 0.77] were best to differentiate UC from non-IBD. The best combinations of biomarkers to differentiate CD from UC and UC from non-IBD were VICM, C3M, C4M [AUC = 0.90] and VICM, C3M [AUC = 0.98] respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:
Specific extracellular matrix degradation markers are elevated in IBD and can discriminate CD from UC and UC from non-IBD controls with a high diagnostic accuracy.

Rheumatology, Systemic Sclerosis
1. Oct 2015

Suppression of T Cell Activation and Collagen Accumulation by an Anti-IFNAR1 mAb, Anifrolumab, in Adult Patients with Systemic Sclerosis

Type I IFNs are implicated in the pathophysiology of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Recently, a Phase I open-label trial was conducted with an anti-IFNAR1 receptor antibody (anifrolumab) in adult SSc patients. In this study, we aim to assess the downstream effects of anifrolumab and elucidate the role of type I IFN in SSc. Serum proteins and extracellular matrix (ECM) markers were measured in relation to IFN pathway activation status and SSc disease activity. Our results demonstrated a robust overexpression of multiple serum proteins in SSc patients, particularly those with an elevated baseline type I IFN gene signature. Anifrolumab administration was associated with significant downregulation of T cell-associated proteins and upregulation of type III collagen degradation marker. Whole-blood and skin microarray results also indicated the inhibition of T cell receptor and ECM-related transcripts by anifrolumab. In summary, our study demonstrates suppressive effects of anifrolumab on T cell activation and collagen accumulation through which tissue fibrosis may be reduced in SSc patients. The relationship between these peripheral markers and the clinical response to anifrolumab may be examined in larger double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
24. Apr 2015

The effect of protease inhibitors on the induction of osteoarthritis-related biomarkers in bovine full-depth cartilage explants

OBJECTIVE:
The specific degradation of type II collagen and aggrecan by matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-9, -13 and ADAMTS-4 and -5 (aggrecanase-1 and -2) in the cartilage matrix is a critical step in pathology of osteoarthritis (OA). The aims of this study were: i) To investigate the relative contribution of ADAMTS-4 and ADAMTS-5 to cartilage degradation upon catabolic stimulation; ii) To investigate the effect of regulating the activities of key enzymes by mean of broad-spectrum inhibitors.

METHODS:
Bovine full-depth cartilage explants stimulated with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and Oncostatin M (OSM) were cultured for 21 days with or without a number of inhibitors targeting different types of proteases. Monoclonal antibodies were raised against the active sites of ADAMTS-4, -5, MMP-9 and -13, and 4 ELISAs were developed and technically validated. In addition, the established AGNxI (ADAMTS-degraded aggrecan), AGNxII (MMP-degraded aggrecan), and CTX-II (MMP-derived type II collagen) were quantified in the explants-conditioned media.

RESULTS:
We found that: i) Active ADAMTS-4, MMP-9, -13 were released in the late stage of TNF-α/ OSM stimulation, whereas no significant active ADAMTS-5 was detected in either extracts or supernatants; ii) Active ADAMTS-4 was primarily responsible for E373-374A bond cleavage in aggrecan in this setting; and iii) The compensatory mechanism could be triggered following the blockage of the enzyme caused by inhibitors.

CONCLUSIONS:
ADAMTS-4 appeared to be the major protease for the generation of 374ARGS aggrecan fragment in the TNF-α/OSM stimulated bovine cartilage explants. This study addresses the need to determine the roles of ADAMTS-4 and ADAMTS-5 in human articular degradation in OA and hence identify the attractive target for slowing down human cartilage breakdown.

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Apr 2015

Treatment of symptomatic knee osteoarthritis with oral salmon calcitonin: results from two phase 3 trials

PURPOSE:
To evaluate the structure-modifying and symptom efficacy, as well as safety and tolerability of oral salmon calcitonin (sCT) formulated with a 5-CNAC carrier (a molecule based on Eligen(®) technology), in osteoarthritis (OA) patients with moderate to severe knee pain and joint structural damage classified as Kellgren and Lawrence (KL)2-3.

METHODS AND DESIGN:
This is the combined reporting of two randomized, double-blind, multi-center, placebo-controlled trials (CSMC021C2301 and CSMC021C2302), evaluating the efficacy and safety of oral sCT in patients with painful knee OA with structural manifestations, enrolling 1176 and 1030 patients, respectively. Study subjects were randomized (1:1) to oral sCT 0.8 mg twice daily or placebo (PBO) for 24 months. The primary efficacy objectives were to examine the treatment effect compared to placebo on change over 24 months in joint space width (JSW) in the signal knee measured by X-ray, and to examine the change in pain and function using the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) questionnaire. Other study parameters included patient and physician global assessment, and biochemical markers of bone (CTX-I) and cartilage degradation (CTX-II).

RESULTS:
At the 24 month endpoint there was no statistically significant treatment effect on joint space narrowing (JSN) in any of the two studies. In CSMC021C2301 there was a treatment effect on WOMAC (sum of pain, function, stiffness, and total scores) as well as on the biomarkers of bone and joint metabolism, but due to the hierarchical testing procedure the treatment effect was not claimed statistically significant.

CONCLUSIONS:
The present formulation of oral sCT did not provide reproducible clinical benefits in patients with symptomatic knee OA (NCT00486434, NCT00704847).

Rheumatology, Osteoarthritis
1. Jan 2015

Identifying specific profiles in patients with different degrees of painful knee osteoarthritis based on serological biochemical and mechanistic pain biomarkers: a diagnostic approach based on cluster analysis

Biochemical and pain biomarkers can be applied to patients with painful osteoarthritis profiles and may provide more details compared with conventional clinical tools. The aim of this study was to identify an optimal combination of biochemical and pain biomarkers for classification of patients with different degrees of knee pain and joint damage. Such profiling may provide new diagnostic and therapeutic options. A total of 216 patients with different degrees of knee pain (maximal pain during the last 24 hours rated on a visual analog scale [VAS]) (VAS 0-100) and 64 controls (VAS 0-9) were recruited. Patients were separated into 3 groups: VAS 10 to 39 (N = 81), VAS 40 to 69 (N = 70), and VAS 70 to 100 (N = 65). Pressure pain thresholds, temporal summation to pressure stimuli, and conditioning pain modulation were measured from the peripatellar and extrasegmental sites. Biochemical markers indicative for autoinflammation and immunity (VICM, CRP, and CRPM), synovial inflammation (CIIIM), cartilage loss (CIIM), and bone degradation (CIM) were analyzed. WOMAC, Lequesne, and pain catastrophizing scores were collected. Principal component analysis was applied to select the optimal variable subset, and cluster analysis was applied to this subset to create distinctly different knee pain profiles. Four distinct knee pain profiles were identified: profile A (N = 27), profile B (N = 59), profile C (N = 85), and profile D (N = 41). Each knee pain profile had a unique combination of biochemical markers, pain biomarkers, physical impairments, and psychological factors that may provide the basis for mechanism-based diagnosis, individualized treatment, and selection of patients for clinical trials evaluating analgesic compounds. These results introduce a new profiling for knee OA and should be regarded as preliminary.

1. Feb 2015

The collagen turnover profile is altered in patients with inguinal and incisional hernia

BACKGROUND:
Disturbed metabolism in the extracellular matrix (ECM) contributes to formation of abdominal wall hernias. The aim of this study was to gain deeper insight into the ECM turnover in hernia patients by analyzing serum biomarkers specifically reflecting collagen synthesis and breakdown in the interstitial matrix (types I, III, and V collagens) and in the basement membrane (type IV collagen).

MATERIAL AND METHODS:
Patients with 3 different types of hernias were included: Primary unilateral inguinal hernia (n = 17), multiple hernias defined as ≥3 hernias (n = 21), and incisional hernia (n = 25). Patients without hernias scheduled to undergo elective operation for gallstones (n = 18) served as controls. Whole venous blood was collected preoperatively. Biomarkers for synthesis of interstitial matrix (PINP, Pro-C3, P5CP) and basement membrane (P4NP) as well as corresponding degradation (C1M, C3M, C5M, and C4M) were measured in serum by validated, solid-phase competitive assays.

RESULTS:
In inguinal hernia patients, the turnover of the interstitial matrix collagens type III (P < .042) and V (P < .001) was decreased compared with controls, whereas the turnover of the basement membrane collagen type IV was increased (P < .001). In incisional hernia patients, the turnover of type V collagen was decreased (P = .048) and the turnover of type IV collagen was increased compared with the hernia-free controls (P < .001).

CONCLUSION:
Hernia patients demonstrated systemically altered collagen metabolism. The serologic turnover profile of type IV collagens may predict the presence of inguinal and incisional hernia. Regulation of type IV collagen turnover may be crucial for hernia development.

Bone, Osteoporosis
1. Jul 2015

Suppressed bone remodeling in black bears conserves energy and bone mass during hibernation

Decreased physical activity in mammals increases bone turnover and uncouples bone formation from bone resorption, leading to hypercalcemia, hypercalcuria, bone loss and increased fracture risk. Black bears, however, are physically inactive for up to 6 months annually during hibernation without losing cortical or trabecular bone mass. Bears have been shown to preserve trabecular bone volume and architectural parameters and cortical bone strength, porosity and geometrical properties during hibernation. The mechanisms that prevent disuse osteoporosis in bears are unclear as previous studies using histological and serum markers of bone remodeling show conflicting results. However, previous studies used serum markers of bone remodeling that are known to accumulate with decreased renal function, which bears have during hibernation. Therefore, we measured serum bone remodeling markers (BSALP and TRACP) that do not accumulate with decreased renal function, in addition to the concentrations of serum calcium and hormones involved in regulating bone remodeling in hibernating and active bears. Bone resorption and formation markers were decreased during hibernation compared with when bears were physically active, and these findings were supported by histomorphometric analyses of bone biopsies. The serum concentration of cocaine and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART), a hormone known to reduce bone resorption, was 15-fold higher during hibernation. Serum calcium concentration was unchanged between hibernation and non-hibernation seasons. Suppressed and balanced bone resorption and formation in hibernating bears contributes to energy conservation, eucalcemia and the preservation of bone mass and strength, allowing bears to survive prolonged periods of extreme environmental conditions, nutritional deprivation and anuria.

Alzheimer’s Disease, Central Nervous System
10. Jul 2015

Serum fragments of Tau for the differential diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease

Differential diagnosis of AD is still a challenge due to overlapping features with other types of dementia. Biomarkers for the differential diagnosis of AD can improve the diagnostic value of the disease and ensure an appropriate treatment of patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of two neo-epitope fragments of Tau as serum biomarkers for differential diagnosis of AD. The neo-epitope fragments of Tau were assessed in a cross-sectional cohort of subjects with AD, MCI, other dementias or subjects with non-dementia related memory complaints. The two Tau neo-epitope fragments were an ADAM10-generated fragment (Tau-A) and a caspase-3-generated fragment (Tau-C). The serum levels of the fragments were measured by two competitive ELISAs detecting Tau-A and Tau-C, respectively. Tau-A and Tau-C were able to separate subjects with AD and MCI from those with other dementias (p < 0.0042 and p < 0.05), and Tau-A could also discriminate between AD and MCI patients and subjects with non-dementia related memory complaints (p < 0.05). Tau-A showed a significantly greater discrimination between AD and MCI subjects and patients with other dementias when compared to CSF biomarkers t-Tau and p-Tau. The ability of Tau-A to differentiate between AD and MCI from other dementias was comparable with CSF Aβ1-42, t-Tau/Aβ1-42 and p-Tau/Aβ1-42. The separation between the diagnostic groups was significantly improved when the CSF biomarkers as well as age and BMI were used in combination with Tau-A (AUC = 0.87, 95% CI: 0.75-0.94) (p < 0.0001). In conclusion, this study shows that a neo-epitope fragment of Tau detected in serum can provide guidance on the differential diagnosis of AD.

Bone, Osteoporosis
10. May 2015

Novel targets for the prevention of osteoporosis - lessons learned from studies of metabolic bone disorders

Osteoporosis is a major health care problem, and whereas efficacious treatments for vertebral fracture reduction are available for osteoporosis patients, these therapies are still limited with respect to capacity for restoration of bone loss, as well as efficacy on non-vertebral fractures, such as hip fractures, which are the source of morbidity and mortality. Areas covered: Studies of rare bone diseases in humans, such as osteopetrosis, sclerosteosis, pycnodysostosis and more, have shed light on a series of drug targets in bone that have the potential to result in therapies for osteoporosis with novel mechanisms of action, and the potential to improve the standard of care substantially. We focus on how they are separated from classic treatments for osteoporosis, in terms of novel modes of action, additional beneficial effects on bone turnover and importantly also safety. We focus on the status of anti-sclerostin antibodies, novel parathyroid hormone-related protein analogs, inhibitors of cathepsin K and ClC-7 in osteoclasts, all of which are currently in development. Expert opinion: There is a good possibility that the treatment of osteoporosis will be greatly improved within the coming years; however, with numerous effective and safe drugs already available careful attention to the safety of these novel candidates is crucial.

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
5. Sep 2015

KBP-042 improves bodyweight and glucose homeostasis with indices of increased insulin sensitivity irrespective of route of administration

KBP-042 is a synthetic peptide dual amylin- and calcitonin-receptor agonist (DACRA) developed to treat type 2 diabetes by inducing a significant weight loss while improving glucose homeostasis. In this study the aim was to compare two different formulations: An oral formulation (1mg/kg) to subcutaneous formulations of KBP-042 (2.5μg/kg, 5.0μg/kg and 7.5μg/kg) with comparable pharmacokinetic profiles. Furthermore to examine if differences in mode of action between the two different routes of administration in high-fat fed Sprague-Dawley rats were present. It was established that the subcutaneous administrations of KBP-042 were able to dose-dependently cause a significant weight-loss, reduce food intake, and improve glucose homeostasis without increasing insulin secretion, effects comparable to those observed with oral administration. At the same time, s.c. KBP-042 suppressed the inappropriate glucagon response better than the oral formulation. Furthermore, KBP-042 was found to reduce incretins GLP-1 and GIP and considerably, improve gastric emptying, and to alleviate leptin resistance, as well as insulin resistance. In conclusion, the subcutaneous route of administration was found to have the same beneficial effects on blood glucose homeostasis and weight loss as well as resistance towards important insulin and leptin, albeit with a markedly lower variation in both exposure and biological responses. These data support the application of subcutaneously delivered peptide for mechanistic studies, and highlight the potential of developing s.c. KBP-042 as a therapy for T2D.

Alzheimer’s Disease, Central Nervous System
11. May 2015

The potential of pathological protein fragmentation in blood-based biomarker development for dementia - with emphasis on Alzheimer's disease

The diagnosis of dementia is challenging and early stages are rarely detected limiting the possibilities for early intervention. Another challenge is the overlap in the clinical features across the different dementia types leading to difficulties in the differential diagnosis. Identifying biomarkers that can detect the pre-dementia stage and allow differential diagnosis could provide an opportunity for timely and optimal intervention strategies. Also, such biomarkers could help in selection and inclusion of the right patients in clinical trials of both Alzheimer's disease and other dementia treatment candidates. The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) has been the most investigated source of biomarkers and several candidate proteins have been identified. However, looking solely at protein levels is too simplistic to provide enough detailed information to differentiate between dementias, as there is a significant crossover between the proteins involved in the different types of dementia. Additionally, CSF sampling makes these biomarkers challenging for presymptomatic identification. We need to focus on disease-specific protein fragmentation to find a fragment pattern unique for each separate dementia type - a form of protein fragmentology. Targeting protein fragments generated by disease-specific combinations of proteins and proteases opposed to detecting the intact protein could reduce the overlap between diagnostic groups as the extent of processing as well as which proteins and proteases constitute the major hallmark of each dementia type differ. In addition, the fragments could be detectable in blood as they may be able to cross the blood-brain barrier due to their smaller size. In this review, the potential of the fragment-based biomarker discovery for dementia diagnosis and prognosis is discussed, especially highlighting how the knowledge from CSF protein biomarkers can be used to guide blood-based biomarker development.

Endocrinology, Type 2-Diabetes
1. May 2015

Lessons learned from the clinical development of oral peptides

The oral delivery of peptides and proteins has been hampered by an array of obstacles. However, several promising novel oral delivery systems have been developed. This paper reviews the most advanced oral formulation technologies, and highlights key lessons and implications from studies undertaken to date with these oral formulations. Special interest is given to oral salmon calcitonin (CT), glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), insulin, PYY-(3-36), recombinant human parathyroid hormone (rhPTH(1-31)-NH2) and PTH(1-34), by different technologies. The issues addressed include (i) interaction with water, (ii) interaction with food, (iii) diurnal variation, (iv) inter- and intra-subject variability, (v) correlation between efficacy and exposure and (vi) key deliverables of different technologies. These key lessons may aid research in the development of other oral formulations.

Central Nervous System, Traumatic Brain Injury
26. Jan 2015

Serum tau fragments predict return to play in concussed professional ice hockey players

The diagnosis of sports-related concussion is mainly based on subjective clinical symptoms and neuropsychological tests. Thus, reliable brain injury biomarkers to assess when it is safe to return to play are highly desirable. The overall objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of two newly described tau fragments for diagnosis and prognosis of sports-related concussions Materials and Methods: This multicenter prospective cohort study involved all 12 teams of the top professional ice hockey league in Sweden. A total of 288 players consented to participate in the study. Thirty-five players sustained concussions, of whom 28 underwent repeated blood samplings at 1, 12, 36, and 144 hours after the trauma, or when the player returned to play (7- > 90 days).

Renal System
1. Feb 2016

Inhibition of lysosomal protease cathepsin D reduces renal fibrosis in murine chronic kidney disease

During chronic kidney disease (CKD) there is a dysregulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) homeostasis leading to renal fibrosis. Lysosomal proteases such as cathepsins (Cts) regulate this process in other organs, however, their role in CKD is still unknown. Here we describe a novel role for cathepsins in CKD. CtsD and B were located in distal and proximal tubular cells respectively in human disease. Administration of CtsD (Pepstatin A) but not B inhibitor (Ca074-Me), in two mouse CKD models, UUO and chronic ischemia reperfusion injury, led to a reduction in fibrosis. No changes in collagen transcription or myofibroblasts numbers were observed. Pepstatin A administration resulted in increased extracellular urokinase and collagen degradation. In vitro and in vivo administration of chloroquine, an endo/lysosomal inhibitor, mimicked Pepstatin A effect on renal fibrosis. Therefore, we propose a mechanism by which CtsD inhibition leads to increased collagenolytic activity due to an impairment in lysosomal recycling. This results in increased extracellular activity of enzymes such as urokinase, triggering a proteolytic cascade, which culminates in more ECM degradation. Taken together these results suggest that inhibition of lysosomal proteases, such as CtsD, could be a new therapeutic approach to reduce renal fibrosis and slow progression of CKD.

Extracellular Matrix Research, Respiratory System
5. Jul 2016

Tissue turnover of collagen type I, III and elastin is elevated in the PCLS model of IPF and can be restored back to vehicle levels using a phosphodiesterase inhibitor

BACKGROUND:

The aim of this study was to develop and validate a model for pulmonary fibrosis, using ex vivo tissue cultures of lungs from bleomycin treated animals, enabling the investigation of fibrosis remodeling using novel biomarkers for the detection of ECM protein fragments. The combination of in vivo and ex vivo models together with ECM remodeling markers may provide a translational tool for screening of potential treatments for IPF.

METHODS:

Twenty female Sprague-Dawley rats, twelve weeks of age, were administrated either two doses of bleomycin (BLM) (n = 14) or saline (n = 6) I.T., two days apart. Ten rats were euthanized at day seven and the remaining ten rats at day fourteen, after the last dose. Precision-cut lung slices (PCLS) were made and cultured for 48 h. Ten female Sprague-Dawley rats, twelve weeks of age, were administrated either two doses of BLM (n = 7) or saline (n = 3) I.T., two days apart. The rats were euthanized fourteen days after the last dose. PCLS were made and cultured for 48 h in: medium, medium + 100 μM IBMX (PDE inhibitor), or medium + 10 μM GM6001 (MMP inhibitor). Turnover of type I collagen (P1NP, C1M), type III collagen (iP3NP, C3M) and elastin degradation (ELM7) was measured in the supernatant of the cultured PCLS.

RESULTS:

P1NP, C1M, iP3NP, C3M and ELM7 were significantly increased in supernatants from BLM animals (P ≤ 0.05 - P ≤ 0.0001) when compared to controls. P1NP, C1M, iP3NP, C3M and ELM7 were significantly increased in supernatants from day seven BLM animals compared to day fourteen BLM animals (P ≤ 0.05 - P ≤ 0.0001). P1NP, C1M, iP3NP, C3M and ELM7 were significantly decreased when adding IBMX to the culture medium of fibrotic lung tissue (P ≤ 0.05 - P ≤ 0.0001). C1M, C3M and ELM7 were significantly decreased when adding GM6001 to the culture medium (P ≤ 0.05 - P ≤ 0.0001). Sirius Red and Orcein staining confirmed the presence of collagen and elastin deposition in the lungs of the animals receiving BLM.

CONCLUSIONS:

The protein fingerprint technology allows the assessment of ECM remodeling markers in the BLM PCLS model. By combining in vivo, ex vivo models and the protein fingerprint technology in the fibrotic phase of the model, we believe the chance of translation from animal model to human is markedly increased.

Extracellular Matrix Research, Renal System
22. May 2016

Precision-Cut Kidney Slices as a Tool to Understand the Dynamics of Extracellular Matrix Remodeling in Renal Fibrosis

The aim of this study was to set up an ex vivo model for renal interstitial fibrosis in order to investigate the extracellular matrix (ECM) turnover profile in the fibrotic kidney. We induced kidney fibrosis in fourteen 12-week-old male Sprague Dawley rats by unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) surgery of the right ureter. The left kidney (contralateral) was used as internal control. Six rats were sham operated and used as the control group. Rats were terminated two weeks after the surgery; the kidneys were excised and precision-cut kidney slices (PCKSs) were cultured for five days in serum-free medium. Markers of collagen type I formation (P1NP), collagen type I and III degradation (C1M and C3M), and α-smooth muscle actin (αSMA) were measured in the PCKS supernatants by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. P1NP, C1M, C3M, and α-SMA were increased up to 2- to 13-fold in supernatants of tissue slices from the UUO-ligated kidneys compared with the contralateral kidneys (P < 0.001) and with the kidneys of sham-operated animals (P < 0.0001). The markers could also reflect the level of fibrosis in different animals. The UUO PCKS ex vivo model provides a valuable translational tool for investigating the extracellular matrix remodeling associated with renal interstitial fibrosis.

Bone, Osteoporosis
1. Oct 2016

A randomized, double-blind, multicenter, placebo-controlled study to evaluate the efficacy and safety of oral salmon calcitonin in the treatment of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women taking calcium and vitamin D

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III study was conducted to assess the efficacy and safety of oral calcitonin (SMC021) for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. A total of 4665 postmenopausal women with osteoporosis were randomized 1:1 to receive calcium and vitamin D plus either SMC021 tablets (0.8mg/d) or placebo for 36months. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with a new vertebral fracture. The two groups were well balanced at baseline with regards to demographic and clinical data. No effect of SMC021 on preventing new vertebral fractures was observed, nor was any effect seen on new hip or non-vertebral fractures. Women receiving SMC021 had a mean 1.02% (±0.12%) increase in lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) compared with a mean 0.18% (±0.12%) increase in the placebo group by the end of the study (p<0.0001). Similarly, small increases in BMD were observed at the femoral neck and hip in both groups. Levels of the biomarkers of bone turnover, urinary CTX-I and CTX-II, were 15% lower in the SMC021 group than in the placebo arm at 12 and 24months, but not at 36months. No change in quality of life between groups, assessed by the Qualeffo-14 questionnaire, was observed in either group between baseline and month 36. Pharmacokinetics analysis confirmed exposure to SMC021, but the drug levels were markedly lower than expected. Approximately 92% of subjects in each treatment group experienced an adverse event (AE), the majority of which were mild or moderate in intensity. AEs associated with SMC021 were primarily of gastrointestinal origin and included nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, as well as hot flushes which were the reason for the slightly higher drop-out rate in the active treatment arm compared to placebo. The number of severe AEs was low in both groups. Thirty-five deaths were reported but none were considered treatment-related. Due to the lack of efficacy in preventing fractures, the development of the orally formulated calcitonin was terminated despite the promising results in earlier studies.

Type 2-Diabetes
15. Sep 2016

Metabolic syndrome and subsequent risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in elderly women: Challenging the current definition.

The prognostic value of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) is believed to vary with age. With an elderly population expecting to triple by 2060, it is important to evaluate the validity of MetS in this age group. We examined the association of MetS risk factors with later risk of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD) in elderly Caucasian women. We further investigated if stratification of individuals not defined with MetS would add predictive power in defining future disease prevalence of individuals with MetS.The Prospective Epidemiological Risk Factor Study, a community-based cohort study, followed 3905 Danish women since 2000 (age: 70.1 ± 6.5) with no previous diagnosis of T2DM or CVD, holding all measurements used for MetS definition; central obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and hyperglycemia combined with register-based follow-up information.Elderly women with defined MetS presented a 6.3-fold increased risk of T2DM (95% confidence interval: [3.74-10.50]) and 1.7-fold increased risk of CVD (1.44-2.05) compared to women with no MetS risk factors. Subdividing the control group without defined MetS revealed that both centrally obese controls and controls holding other MetS risk factors also had increased risk of T2DM (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.21 [1.25-3.93] and HR = 1.75 [1.04-2.96]) and CVD (HR = 1.51 [1.25-1.83] and HR = 1.36 [1.15-1.60]) when compared to controls with no MetS risk factors.MetS in elderly Caucasian women increased risk of future T2DM and CVD. While not defined with MetS, women holding only some risk factors for MetS were also at increased risk of T2DM or CVD compared to women with no MetS risk factors.

Extracellular Matrix Research
19. Jan 2017

Biomarkers of extracellular matrix turnover are associated with emphysema and eosinophilic-bronchitis in COPD.

BACKGROUND:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by airflow obstruction and loss of lung tissue mainly consisting of extracellular matrix (ECM). Three of the main ECM components are type I collagen, the main constituent in the interstitial matrix, type VI collagen, and elastin, the signature protein of the lungs. During pathological remodeling driven by inflammatory cells and proteases, fragments of these proteins are released into the bloodstream, where they may serve as biomarkers for disease phenotypes. The aim of this study was to investigate the lung ECM remodeling in healthy controls and COPD patients in the COPDGene study.
METHODS:

The COPDGene study recruited 10,300 COPD patients in 21 centers. A subset of 89 patients from one site (National Jewish Health), including 52 COPD patients, 12 never-smoker controls and 25 smokers without COPD controls, were studied for serum ECM biomarkers reflecting inflammation-driven type I and VI collagen breakdown (C1M and C6M, respectively), type VI collagen formation (Pro-C6), as well as elastin breakdown mediated by neutrophil elastase (EL-NE). Correlation of biomarkers with lung function, the SF-36 quality of life questionnaire, and other clinical characteristics was also performed.
RESULTS:

The circulating concentrations of biomarkers C6M, Pro-C6, and EL-NE were significantly elevated in COPD patients compared to never-smoking control patients (all p < 0.05). EL-NE was significantly elevated in emphysema patients compared to smoking controls (p < 0.05) and never-smoking controls (p < 0.005), by more than 250%. C1M was inversely associated with forced expiratory volume in 1 s (FEV1) (r = -0.344, p = 0.001), as was EL-NE (r = -0.302, p = 0.004) and Pro-C6 (r = -0.259, p = 0.015). In the patients with COPD, Pro-C6 was correlated with percent predicted Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) (r = 0.281, p = 0.046) and quality of life using SF-36. C6M and Pro-C6, were positively correlated with blood eosinophil numbers in COPD patients (r = 0.382, p = 0.006 and r = 0.351, p = 0.012, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS:

These data suggest that type VI collagen turnover and elastin degradation by neutrophil elastase are associated with COPD-induced inflammation (eosinophil-bronchitis) and emphysema. Serological assessment of type VI collagen and elastin turnover may assist in identification of phenotypes likely to be associated with progression and amenable to precision medicine for clinical trials.

Hepatic System
21. Jan 2017

A novel dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist, KBP-089, induces weight loss through a reduction in fat, but not lean mass, while improving food preference

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Obesity and associated co-morbidities, such as type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, are major health challenges. Hence, there is an important need to develop weight loss therapies with the ability to reduce the co-morbidities.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH:

The effect of the dual amylin and calcitonin receptor agonist (DACRA), KBP-089, on body weight, glucose homeostasis and fatty acid accumulation in liver and muscle tissue and on food preference was investigated. Furthermore, we elucidated weight-independent effects of KBP-089 using a weight-matched group.
KEY RESULTS:

Rats fed a high-fat diet were treated, s.c., with KBP-089 0.625, 1.25, 2.5 μg·kg-1 or vehicle. KB-089 induced in a dose-dependent and sustained weight loss (~17% by 2.5 μg·kg-1 ). Moreover, KBP-089 reduced fat depot size and reduced lipid accumulation in muscle and liver. In Zucker Diabetic Fatty rats, KBP-089 improved glucose homeostasis through improved insulin action. To obtain a weight-matched group, significantly less food was offered (9% less than in the KBP-089 group). Weight matching led to improved glucose homeostasis by reducing plasma insulin; however, these effect were inferior compared to those of KBP-089. In the food preference test, rats fed a normal diet obt