Validation of sex-dependent molecular pain mechanisms in OA


The patient pain experience in OA is highly variable and this is particularly apparent when comparing males with females. Identification of molecular mechanisms that underly sexdependent differences could provide personalised approaches to patient care.

Facts and figures

Project lead
T Vincent
University of Oxford
FOREUM research grant: €568.000

Meet the team

T Vincent
University of Oxford
C Svensson
Karolinska Institute
N Eijkelkamp
Utrecht University


Through recent collaboration, three potential pathways were identified that might explain sexdependent differences in arthritis pain. These include: (i) 5 neurotrophins exclusively upregulated in female joints at the time of late OA pain behaviour (ii) evidence for increased complement pathway activation in female arthritis, and (iii) sex-dependent differences in the inflammatory cell profiles within the dorsal root ganglion. In this proposal we will explore these pathways in mice as they develop OA pain behaviour, and then test the sex-dependence and correlation with pain outcomes of candidate molecules in two large patient cohorts.

Patient voice

Through the Centre for Osteoarthritis Pathogenesis Versus Arthritis regular “Research Showcase” days are being hold in which patients are being invited to hear about planned studies and to provide their feedback on (i) the importance of the study (ii) the proposed approach and (iii) how they think the results should be disseminated.