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“Exercise” (mechanical loading) reduces inflammation in cartilage

PainSci » bibliography » Fu et al 2019
Tags: etiology, arthritis, inflammation, exercise, good news, neat, pro, aging, pain problems, self-treatment, treatment

Five articles on PainSci cite Fu 2019: 1. The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome2. PF-ROM Exercises3. Voltaren Gel: Does It Work?4. Guide to Repetitive Strain Injuries5. Chronic, Subtle, Systemic Inflammation

PainSci notes on Fu 2019:

This is a highly technical petri-dish study of the effect of “exercise” (mechanical loading) on the inflammation signalling of cartilage cells. Basically, they mechanically stressed samples of excised cartilage and cartilage cells. The surprising, good-news result was that the researchers reported that moderate loading actually reduced inflammation. That is, fewer inflammatory signals were produced by the cells.

While it is a near certainty that too much loading would increase inflammatory signalling, it is nifty that mechanical loading in the “just right” Goldilocks zone might actually be anti-inflammatory. This implies a specific and substantive way in which “exercise is medicine.”

original abstract Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: Physiological mechanical loading reduces inflammatory signalling in numerous cell types including articular chondrocytes; however, the mechanism responsible remains unclear. This study investigates the role of chondrocyte primary cilia and associated intraflagellar transport (IFT) in the mechanical regulation of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) signalling.

DESIGN: Isolated chondrocytes and cartilage explants were subjected to cyclic mechanical loading in the presence and absence of the cytokine IL-1β. Nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release were used to monitor IL-1β signalling whilst Sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) release provided measurement of cartilage degradation. Measurements were made of HDAC6 activity and tubulin polymerisation and acetylation. Effects on primary cilia were monitored by confocal and super resolution microscopy. Involvement of IFT was analysed using ORPK cells with hypomorphic mutation of IFT88.

RESULTS: Mechanical loading suppressed NO and PGE2 release and prevented cartilage degradation. Loading activated HDAC6 and disrupted tubulin acetylation and cilia elongation induced by IL-1β. HDAC6 inhibition with tubacin blocked the anti-inflammatory effects of loading and restored tubulin acetylation and cilia elongation. Hypomorphic mutation of IFT88 reduced IL-1β signalling and abolished the anti-inflammatory effects of loading indicating the mechanism is IFT-dependent. Loading reduced the pool of non-polymerised tubulin which was replicated by taxol which also mimicked the anti-inflammatory effects of mechanical loading and prevented cilia elongation.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals that mechanical loading suppresses inflammatory signalling, partially dependent on IFT, by activation of HDAC6 and post transcriptional modulation of tubulin.

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