Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 27;106(4):1181-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0806062106. Epub 2009 Jan 12.

Aging-related loss of the chromatin protein HMGB2 in articular cartilage is linked to reduced cellularity and osteoarthritis.

Author information

Division of Arthritis Research, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common joint disease and typically begins with an aging-related disruption of the articular cartilage surface. Mechanisms leading to the aging-related cartilage surface degeneration remain to be determined. Here, we demonstrate that nonhistone chromatin protein high-mobility group box (HMGB) protein 2 is uniquely expressed in the superficial zone (SZ) of human articular cartilage. In human and murine cartilage, there is an aging-related loss of HMGB2 expression, ultimately leading to its complete absence. Mice genetically deficient in HMGB2 (Hmgb2(-/-)) show earlier onset of and more severe OA. This is associated with a profound reduction in cartilage cellularity attributable to increased cell death. These cellular changes precede glycosaminoglycan depletion and progressive cartilage erosions. Chondrocytes from Hmgb2(-/-) mice are more susceptible to apoptosis induction in vitro. In conclusion, HMGB2 is a transcriptional regulator specifically expressed in the SZ of human articular cartilage and supports chondrocyte survival. Aging is associated with a loss of HMGB2 expression and reduced cellularity, and this contributes to the development of OA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center