• Probiotics Inhibit Cartilage Damage and Progression of Osteoarthritis in Mice.

Probiotics Inhibit Cartilage Damage and Progression of Osteoarthritis in Mice.

Calcified tissue international (2022-10-20)
Antonia Sophocleous, Asim Azfer, Carmen Huesa, Eleni Stylianou, Stuart H Ralston

Increasing interest has focussed on the possible role of alterations in the microbiome in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease, inflammatory disease, and osteoporosis. Here we examined the role of the microbiome in a preclinical model of osteoarthritis in mice subjected to destabilisation of medical meniscus (DMM). The intestinal microbiome was depleted by broad-spectrum antibiotics from 1 week before birth until the age of 6 weeks when mice were subjected reconstitution of the microbiome with faecal microbial transplant (FMT) followed by the administration of a mixture of probiotic strains Lacticaseibacillus paracasei 8700:2, Lactiplantibacillus plantarum HEAL9 and L. plantarum HEAL19 or vehicle. All mice were subjected to DMM at the age of 8 weeks. The severity of osteoarthritis was evaluated by histological analysis and effects on subchondral bone were investigated by microCT analyses. The combination of FMT and probiotics significantly inhibited cartilage damage at the medial femoral condyle such that the OARSI score was 4.64 ± 0.32 (mean ± sem) in the FMT and probiotic group compared with 6.48 ± 0.53 in the FMT and vehicle group (p = 0.007). MicroCT analysis of epiphyseal bone from the femoral condyle showed that the probiotic group had higher BV/TV, increased Tb.Th, and moderately thicker subchondral bone plates than the control group. There was no difference between groups in joint inflammation or in serum concentrations of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines. We conclude that treatment with probiotics following FMT in mice where the microbiome has been depleted inhibits DMM-induced cartilage damage and impacts on the structure of subchondral bone particularly at the femoral condyle. While further studies are required to elucidate the mechanism of action, our research suggests that these probiotics may represent a novel intervention for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

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