eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2019   Volume No 37 – pages 347-359

Title: Short link N acts as a disease modifying osteoarthritis drug

Authors: J Antoniou, LM Epure, MP Grant, H Richard, J Sampalis, PJ Roughley, S Laverty, F Mwale

Address: Orthopaedics Research Laboratory, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, Department of Experimental Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, Montréal, QC, Canada.

E-mail: fmwale at

Abstract: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterised by a progressive degradation of articular cartilage and underlaying bone and is associated with pain and disability. Currently, there is no medical treatment to reverse or even retard OA. Based on our previous reports, where we establish the repair potential of short Link N (sLN) in the intervertebral disc, a cartilage-like tissue, we hypothesise that sLN may hold similar promises in the repair of articular cartilage. This study aimed to determine if sLN, could prevent OA disease progression.
Skeletally mature New Zealand white rabbits underwent unilateral anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) of their left femorotibial joints to induce joint degeneration typical of OA. Beginning 3 weeks post-operatively, and every three weeks thereafter for 12 weeks, either saline (1 mL) or sLN (100 μg in 1 mL saline) was injected intraarticularly into the operated knee. Six additional rabbits underwent sham surgery but without ACLT or post-operative injections. The effects on gross joint morphology and cartilage histologic changes were evaluated.
In the Saline group, prominent erosion of articular cartilage occurred in both femoral condyle compartments and the lateral compartment of the tibial plateau while, sLN treatment reduced the severity of the cartilage damage in these compartments of the knee showing erosion. Furthermore, statistically significant differences were detected between the joint OA score of the saline and sLN treated groups (p = 0.0118). Therefore, periodic intraarticular injection of sLN is a promising nonsurgical treatment for preventing or retarding OA progression, by reducing cartilage degradation.

Key Words: Osteoarthritis, cartilage repair, tissue engineering, bioactive peptides, short link N.

Publication date:May 2nd 2019

Article download: Pages 347-359 (PDF file)


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