Micro RNAs as Biomarkers in Osteoarthritis

Objectives of the Project

OA is still classified based on changes in joint tissues that are visible on conventional radiographs. This scoring system, however, does not accommodate emerging information about disease mechanisms.

Our proposal aimed to identify and validate miRNAs as future blood biomarkers for monitoring OA pathophysiological processes in cartilage via a 2 step approach:

  • Identify miRNA signatures reporting on underlying disease processes and predicting severe OA of the hip and/or knee joint
  • Validation and confirmation in additional cohorts across Europe and towards OA in additional joints such as hand OA.

Publications

Manuscript in preparation.

Facts and Figures

Project Lead
Prof. I. Meulenbelt
UMC Leiden
FOREUM pump prime grant: € 75.000
Finalised: December 2016

Meet the Team

Prof. I. Meulenbelt
UMC Leiden
Dr. C. Beyer
University Erlangen - Nuremberg
Dr. C. Ospelt
University Hospital Zurich

Results

Notably, the results of the pilot study appeared a stepping stone in accessing larger grant money which concurrently established extension of our research question; a high quality miRNA sequencing data set was established in overlapping human samples of cartilage and plasma. Preliminary data analyses showed promising correlation of miRNAs detected in plasma and cartilage, suggesting that circulating miRNA could indeed report on cartilage specific processes. As such the results of the project are bound to deliver biomarkers that reflect diversity in OA pathophysiology with difficult diagnosis.