Major paper published by NIH-sponsored osteoarthritis biomarker researchers in Science Advances

A group of DMPI scientists (Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, pictured to the right in the photo, and Yi-Ju Li, PhD, pictured on the left in the photo) and collaborators developed a blood test that successfully predicts knee osteoarthritis at least eight years before tell-tale signs of the disease appears on x-rays. Two landmark papers in Science Advances (see paper links below) validate the accuracy of a biomarker panel that identifies key biomarkers of osteoarthritis that predict knee osteoarthritis x-ray progression and risk of x-ray changes of knee osteoarthritis years prior to the onset of symptoms or x-ray changes. Among all 24 protein biomarkers predicting risk of knee osteoarthritis, the majority (58%) also predicted knee OA progression, revealing the existence of a pathophysiological “OA continuum” based on considerable similarity in the molecular pathophysiology of the progression to incident OA, and the progression of established OA. These results identify a prolonged molecular derangement of joint tissue before the onset of x-ray abnormalities consistent with an unresolved acute phase response playing a major role in the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis.  Because osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, afflicting an estimated 35 million adults in the U.S. and causing significant economic and societal impacts, the ability to identify it early through a blood test such as this could lay the foundation for a new treatment paradigm of treating early to prevent irreversible joint structural abnormalities.  

In addition to Kraus and Li, study authors included Shuming Sun, Alexander Reed, Erik J. Soderblom, M Arthur Moseley, Kaile Zhou, Vaibhav Jain, and Nigel Arden.

The study received funding support from National Institutes of Health (R01-AR071450 and P30-AG028716).