University of Oulu

Poletti, F.; González-Fernández, R.; García, M.-d.-P.; Rotoli, D.; Ávila, J.; Mobasheri, A.; Martín-Vasallo, P. Molecular-Morphological Relationships of the Scaffold Protein FKBP51 and Inflammatory Processes in Knee Osteoarthritis. Cells 2021, 10, 2196.

Molecular-morphological relationships of the scaffold protein FKBP51 and inflammatory processes in knee osteoarthritis

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Author: Poletti, Fabián1,2,3; González-Fernández, Rebeca1; García, María-del-Pino4;
Organizations: 1Laboratorio de Biología del Desarrollo, UD de Bioquímica y Biología Molecular Instituto de Tecnologías Biomédicas de Canarias, Universidad de La Laguna, La Laguna, Av. Astrofísico Sánchez s/n, 38206 La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain
2Orthopaedic Surgery and Trauma Unit, Royal Berkshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Reading RG1 5AN, UK
3Unidad de Cirugía Ortopédica y Traumatología, Hospital San Juan de Dios-Tenerife, Ctra. Santa Cruz Laguna 53, 38009 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
4Department of Pathology, Eurofins® Megalab-Hospiten Hospitals, 38001 Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain
5Institute of Endocrinology and Experimental Oncology (IEOS), CNR-National Research Council, 80131 Naples, Italy
6Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, 90570 Oulu, Finland
7Department of Regenerative Medicine, State Research Institute Centre for Innovative Medicine, LT-08406 Vilnius, Lithuania
8Departments of Orthopedics, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands
9Department of Joint Surgery, The First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China
10World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Public Health Aspects of Musculoskeletal Health and Aging, Université de Liège, B-4000 Liège, Belgium
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 14.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-23


Knee osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions affecting the adult population. OA is no longer thought to come from a purely biomechanical origin but rather one that has been increasingly recognized to include a persistent low-grade inflammatory component. Intra-articular corticosteroid injections (IACSI) have become a widely used method for treating pain in patients with OA as an effective symptomatic treatment. However, as the disease progresses, IACSI become ineffective. FKBP51 is a regulatory protein of the glucocorticoid receptor function and have been shown to be dysregulated in several pathological scenario’s including chronic inflammation. Despite of these facts, to our knowledge, there are no previous studies of the expression and possible role of FKBP51 in OA. We investigated by double and triple immunofluorescence confocal microscopy the cellular and subcellular expression of FKBP51 and its relations with inflammation factors in osteoarthritic knee joint tissues: specifically, in the tibial plateau knee cartilage, Hoffa’s fat pad and suprapatellar synovial tissue of the knee. Our results show co-expression of FKBP51 with TNF-α, IL-6, CD31 and CD34 in OA chondrocytes, synovial membrane cells and adipocytes in Hoffa’s fat pad. FKBP51 is also abundant in nerve fibers within the fat pad. Co-expression of FKBP51 protein with these markers may be indicative of its contribution to inflammatory processes and associated chronic pain in OA.

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Series: Cells
ISSN: 2073-4409
ISSN-E: 2073-4409
ISSN-L: 2073-4409
Volume: 10
Issue: 9
Article number: 2196
DOI: 10.3390/cells10092196
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 1182 Biochemistry, cell and molecular biology
3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
Funding: This research was funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III, grant number PI12/00729 and Gobierno de Canarias (cofounded by FEDER), grant number ProID2020010073 to J.A.; by Universidad de La Laguna, grant Proyecto Puente al Plan Estatal 2018.
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (