Medium- and long-chain acylcarnitines are associated with osteoarthritis severity and arterial stiffness in end-stage osteoarthritis patients: a case-control study

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Arterial pathology has been suggested to be involved in osteoarthritis (OA). Metabolic profiling enables the determination of low-molecular-weight molecules, which might further explain the pathogenesis of OA and its relationship with cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The aim of this study was to compare the metabolic profile of lipid metabolism-related compounds and arterial stiffness in OA patients and in controls.


The serum of 70 end-stage OA patients prior to joint replacement surgery and 82 age-matched controls were analyzed by the AbsoluteIDQ™ p180 kit (BIOCRATES Life Sciences AG, Innsbruck, Austria) using the targeted metabolomic approach. Arterial stiffness was assessed by measuring carotid-femoral and carotid-radial pulse wave velocity. Aortic-brachial pulse wave velocity ratio (PWV-ratio) was used as the measure of arterial stiffness gradient. Principal component analysis was performed to analyze the large number of metabolites.


The OA patients had decreased levels of C10:1, C10:2, C12, C12:1, C14, C14:2, C14:1-OH, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1) ratio and total AC/C0 compared with age-matched controls. There was independent association between acylcarnitines and PWV-ratio in the OA patients. Furthermore, acylcarnitines were associated with OA radiographic severity. The component that resembles acylcarnitines was an independent predictor of the PWV-ratio for OA patients.


We found decreased levels of acylcarnitines in OA patients. Furthermore, medium-and long-chain acylcarnitines associated independently with arterial stiffness and were related to radiographic severity of OA. Thus, acylcarnities might play an important role in the association between OA and CVD.

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