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AB0832 Serum Levels of Aggrecan Args, Nitege Fragments in Tunisian Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis: Clinical, and Radiological Correlation
  1. A. Bahlous1,
  2. E. Kalai1,
  3. H. Sahli2,
  4. L. Laadhar2,
  5. M. Mrad2,
  6. K. Bouzid2,
  7. I. Cheour2,
  8. M. Chelly2
  1. 1Department of Biochemistry, Pasteur Institute
  2. 2Immuno-Rheumatology Research Laboratory, LR05SP01, Rabta Hospital, University of Tunis-El Manar, TUNIS, Tunisia


Background Proteolytic degradation of aggrecan is a hallmark of the pathology of osteoarthritis. In this study, we analyzed the markers of degradation aggrecan for the first time in an African osteoarthritis population

Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the value of new markers of aggrecan degradation (ARGS, NITEGE) fragments and clinical and radiological progression of knee osteoarthritis (OA) in Tunisian population.

Methods We measured serum levels of ARGSV and NITEGE in 125 women with knee osteoarthritis (mean ± SD age of 53.6±7.6 years, mean ± SD disease duration of 3.6±3.8 years), and 57 women age-matched controls underwent Lyon Schuss X-ray exams. Two experienced readers independently measured the joint space width (JSW) and classified each knee for severity using the Kellgren/Lawrence (KL) scale. We investigated the relationships between these two aggrecan degradations fragments and urinary CTX-II levels. The serum levels of aggrecan ARGS, NITEGE fragments and urinary concentration of CTX-II was measured by a competitive ELISA.

Results Median serum ARGSVI (by 18%; p=0.002), and NITEGE (36.4%; p<0.001) levels were significantly decreased in patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with controls. Minimal joint space width was negatively correlated with ARGSV (r = –0.368, p=0.04) and NITEGE (r = –0.274, p=0.038) in knee osteoarthritis patients. Serum ARGSV was correlated with KL scale (r =0.28, p=0.03), disease duration (r = -0.24, P=0.04) and BMI (r =0.18, p=0.04). Median urinary CTX-II levels were significantly increased by 39.5% (p=0.001) in knee OA patients compared with controls.

Conclusions These markers can be used to monitor aggrecanase activity in human joint disease. Their combination with CTX-II can improve clinical investigation of patients with osteoarthritis patients.


  1. Joint Bone Spine 2012; 79 (6): 610-5.

  2. Arthritis Res Ther 2010; 12: R230.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

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