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Large-scale gene expression in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells: a putative role for COL10A1 in osteoarthritis
  1. José Ramón Lamas1,
  2. Luis Rodríguez-Rodríguez1,
  3. Ana G Vigo2,
  4. Roberto Álvarez-Lafuente3,
  5. Pedro López-Romero4,
  6. Fernando Marco5,
  7. Emilio Camafeita6,
  8. Ana Dopazo7,
  9. Sergio Callejas7,
  10. Esther Villafuertes1,
  11. José Antonio Hoyas1,
  12. María Pilar Tornero-Esteban1,
  13. Elena Urcelay2,
  14. Benjamín FernÁndez-Gutiérrez1
  1. 1Rheumatology Service, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2Immunology Service, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Neurology Service, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
  4. 4Department of Cardiovascular Epidemiology and Population Genetics, Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain
  5. 5Traumatology Service, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain
  6. 6Department of Proteomics, Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain
  7. 7Genomics Unit, Fundación Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares Carlos III (CNIC), Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to José Ramón Lamas, Rheumatology Service, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, C/ Profesor Martín Lagos s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain; jrlamas{at}


Objectives To elucidate disease-specific molecular changes occurring in osteoarthritis (OA) by analysing the differential gene expression profiles of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) from patients with OA compared with those without OA.

Methods Expression profiles of BM-MSCs from eight paired patients with OA and patients with hip fracture without signs of OA were compared by DNA microarray expression analysis and significant differences were evaluated by computational Gene Set Enrichment Analysis. To validate the involvement of COL10A1 as part of the most downregulated gene set in OA, three tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms were genotyped in 191 patients with OA and 283 controls. COL10A1 expression was also assessed by quantitative RT-PCR in additional subjects.

Results Expression levels in 9% (1967) of the overall transcripts were significantly different (p<0.05) between MSCs from patients with OA and controls (532 genes reached twofold differences: 240 were upregulated and 292 were downregulated). Cell development and differentiation were the functional categories accounting for most genes with altered expression. Interestingly, several genes related to the Wnt/-catenin pathway and collagen genes were downregulated in MSCs from patients with OA. The collagen gene set was clearly downregulated in OA. Furthermore, the expression of COL10A1 was significantly reduced in patients with OA. A genetic association between the COL10A1 rs11965969 polymorphism and OA was also found.

Conclusion COL10A1 downregulation seems to have a role in the establishment of a defective and/or unstable subchondral cartilage matrix in OA disease. It is proposed that OA may be linked to the intrinsic defective regenerative potential of BM-MSCs resulting from its reduced expression of fate commitment-related genes.

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  • Funding This work was supported by grants from Fundacion Mutua Madrileña and FIS 04/1698.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the ethics committee of the Hospital Clínico San Carlos and all samples were obtained after patients' written informed consent.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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