Tissue Crosstalk in Joint Injury
Post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA) is a serious disease that results from joint injury. It is characterized by cartilage deterioration, synovial inflammation, and the formation of abnormal bone growths. The Wnt signaling pathway is an important biological process by which cells respond to external stimuli. Overactive Wnt signaling within the joint is known to take part in the progression of PTOA. R-spondin 2 is a protein secreted by cells into the extracellular matrix that functions as an agonist for the Wnt signaling pathway. While R-spondin 2 is known to activate Wnt signaling, little is known about its role in PTOA. Here, we aimed to better understand the contribution of R-spondin 2 in the overactivation of Wnt signaling and how this process contributes to PTOA pathology. We hypothesized that, given the pathological role of unchecked Wnt signaling in OA, adding additional R-spondin 2 would exacerbate joint degeneration in a mouse model of PTOA.