OBJECTIVE: Synovitis associated with osteoarthritis (OA) is directly responsible for several clinical symptoms and reflects OA's structural progression. This study sought to analyze the expression of proinflammatory mediations, including Interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22, which play key roles in regulating inflammatory processes, in inflamed and non-inflamed areas of osteoarthritic synovium. METHODS: Synovium from knees of 32 OA patients were collected at surgery. Macroscopic evaluation of inflammation enabled inflamed and non-inflamed areas to be separated. Samples were incubated to obtain tissue-conditioned media. Quantitative mRNA expression of proinflammatory mediators was analyzed by RT-PCR and protein levels by ELISA and gelatin zymography. Immunohistochemistry and histology were performed. RESULTS: Inflamed synovium were characterized by increased leukocyte infiltration and a higher vessel-to-tissue area ratio than non-inflamed tissues. Macrophages, T and B lymphocytes, and some neutrophils were found only in the inflamed tissue, and only in the subintimal layer. Levels of proinflammatory cytokines and MMP-9 were significantly higher in tissue-conditioned media from inflamed than non-inflamed tissues. Inflamed areas were associated with higher expression of IL-17 and IL-22, both correlated with the combined release of IL-6, IL-23, and TGFβ1. CONCLUSION: Our results showed that inflammatory cytokines, including IL-17 and IL-22, are expressed at higher levels by inflamed OA synovium and suggest IL-22 involvement in OA pathophysiology. This study will help identify new therapeutic strategies for OA, especially the targeting of IL-22 to decrease inflammation.
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IL-17, IL-22, Osteoarthritis, Synovial inflammation, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay, Female, Gene Expression Regulation, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, Interleukin-17, Interleukins, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Knee, RNA, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction, Synovial Membrane, Synovitis