Faculty of Medicine

Lund University

From joint injury to osteoarthritis – molecular markers and structural changes

Principal investigator; Struglics, André, Associate Professor, PhD

Phone: +46462220762

Co-workers, Lund University: Frobell Richard, Larsson Staffan, Lohmander Stefan

Co-workers, not Lund University: Fosang Amanda, Grodzinsky Alan

Research area/areas: Cell and Molecular Biology, Orthopaedics

Osteoarthritis (OA) causes destruction of joint tissues leading to pain and disability. Disease mechanisms are incompletely understood and we lack sensitive measures to monitor joint pathology.

This translational project focuses on cartilage biology, connecting laboratory, imaging and clinical findings to improve our understanding of OA. Aims are to: (I) investigate - the biological response following joint injury and the processes leading to OA; (II) relate - molecular markers to imaging and clinical outcomes in the early phases of knee injury and OA; (III) validate - aggrecan protein fragments as biomarkers of OA disease burden and prediction.

We use samples of human meniscus and cartilage, and body fluids from cross sectional and longitudinal patient cohorts for immunochemical assays of cytokines and joint tissue molecular markers, use MRI for analysis of joint structures, and monitor patient-reported outcomes. Joint trauma is a major risk factor for OA and is here used as a human disease model.

OA is a common, disabling and slowly progressing disease where disease modifying treatment is lacking. Little is known about disease onset and disease mechanisms. By combining results from research on molecular, structural and symptomatic levels we will identify early disease mechanisms for OA, a basis for improved treatment. Molecular markers can be used for early diagnosis, to monitor disease progression, predict clinical outcomes and follow treatment.

5 recent original publications

Struglics A, Larsson S, Pratta MA, Kumar S, Lark MW, Lohmander LS
Human osteoarthritis synovial fluid and joint cartilage contain both aggrecanase- and matrix metalloproteinase-generated aggrecan fragments
Osteoarthritis & Cartilage. 2006; 14: 101-113

Further publications here (new window)


Total financing:   15.0 MSEK      Gov grant for clinical research ("ALF"):   2.0 MSEK
Total external financing:   3.0 MSEK      Natl and intl prioritized grants:   1.0 MSEK

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