Yolande Ramos | 26-05-2015 | Osteoarthritis, a degenerative disease of the articular joints : towards the implementation of functional genomics in OA

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an age related disorder of the joints characterized by pain, crepitus, and stiffness resulting in decreased mobility. Pathophysiology consists of cartilage degeneration and bone remodeling, however, knowledge of OA etiology is still limited. Due to the growing population of elderly, OA prevalence rapidly increases. The fact that no reliable clinical markers are available for diagnosis, monitoring and progression is a major impediment in OA disease management and incurs high costs in drug development and clinical trials. Molecular markers were studied in OA affected cartilage compared to unaffected cartilage of the same joint (chapter 2) and in blood of OA patients (chapter 3). Perturbation of the application of traditional biochemical markers sCOMP and uCTX2 in the clinic due to genetic factors that, independent of OA, affect innate levels was investigated (chapter 4). Furthermore, we have tried to go beyond the results of molecular epidemiological studies to increase insights into underlying mechanisms (chapter 6 & 7). This shows how functional genomics can be achieved by combining genetic and functional data and will facilitate translation of knowledge of genetic variants to the needs of OA patients and thus to application in the clinic.

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