Recent findings have identified that SOX9 served as a key role during the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). This study aimed to investigate the mechanisms by which SOX9 regulated the formation of OA in vitro and in vivo.
The relative expressions of SOX9 in patients with OA and normal fracture of thighbone were analyzed by real-time-PCR. In vitro, IL-1β induced inflammatory response in human chondrocytes was used to evaluate the function of SOX9. The recombinant SOX9 lentivirus vector (Lenti-SOX9) was used to upregulate the expression of SOX9 in cells. ELISA was used to measure the concentration of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α). The protein expressions of SOX9, matrix metalloproteinase-13 (MMP13), Collagen II, Aggrecan and Smad3 were analyzed by Western blot. Cell proliferation and cell apoptosis were detected by CCK-8 assay and flow cytometry, respectively. In vivo, the effect of SOX9 on surgically induced OA mice was evaluated.
The gene level of SOX9 was remarkably downregulated in patients with OA compared with normal people, while the concentration of TNF-α was upregulated. In addition, IL-1β reduced the expressions of SOX9, Collagen II and Aggrecan and increased the level of MMP13 in chondrocytes. Moreover, Lenti-SOX9 notably inhibited IL-1β-induced growth inhibition and apoptosis in chondrocytes via increasing the expression of Smad3. Finally, Lenti-SOX9 markedly alleviated the symptoms of OA mice in vivo.