Effects of exercise level on biomarkers in a rat knee model of osteoarthritis

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The aim of this study was to elucidate whether the levels of serum biomarkers reflect the progression of osteoarthritis (OA) induced by different levels of exercise. Thirty-five Wistar rats subjected to anterior cruciate ligament transaction (ACLT) were divided into three groups: Control, moderate running, and intense running. Twelve rats (moderate running without ACLT) were allocated as a naive group. Running was performed on a motorized treadmill, at a speed of 18 m/min for 30 min/day (moderate and naive) or 60 min/day (intense) for 3 days per week. After 2 or 4 weeks, OA histopathology in the knees was evaluated using the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) score, and the serum levels of cleaved collagen type II (C2C) and procollagen II C-propeptide (CPII) were analyzed. The OARSI score deteriorated in the intense running group after 2 weeks and the serum C2C/CPII ratio suggested the development of OA. At 4 weeks, the C2C/CPII ratio suggested there would be deterioration in the OARSI score but the score did not differ significantly between the moderate and intense running groups. C2C/CPII ratio had 13–25% correlation with the OARSI histological score. Thus, in rat experimental OA, the OARSI score could be partially predicted by the C2C/CPII ratio as a serum biomarker of OA.

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