5-aminosalicylic acid suppresses osteoarthritis through the OSCAR-PPARγ axis

Jihee Kim, Gina Ryu, Jeongmin Seo, Miyeon Go, Gyungmin Kim, Sol Yi, Suwon Kim, Hana Lee, June Yong Lee, Han Sung Kim, Min Chan Park, Dong Hae Shin, Hyunbo Shim, Wankyu Kim, Soo Young Lee

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Osteoarthritis (OA) is a progressive and irreversible degenerative joint disease that is characterized by cartilage destruction, osteophyte formation, subchondral bone remodeling, and synovitis. Despite affecting millions of patients, effective and safe disease-modifying osteoarthritis drugs are lacking. Here we reveal an unexpected role for the small molecule 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), which is used as an anti-inflammatory drug in ulcerative colitis. We show that 5-ASA competes with extracellular-matrix collagen-II to bind to osteoclast-associated receptor (OSCAR) on chondrocytes. Intra-articular 5-ASA injections ameliorate OA generated by surgery-induced medial-meniscus destabilization in male mice. Significantly, this effect is also observed when 5-ASA was administered well after OA onset. Moreover, mice with DMM-induced OA that are treated with 5-ASA at weeks 8–11 and sacrificed at week 12 have thicker cartilage than untreated mice that were sacrificed at week 8. Mechanistically, 5-ASA reverses OSCAR-mediated transcriptional repression of PPARγ in articular chondrocytes, thereby suppressing COX-2-related inflammation. It also improves chondrogenesis, strongly downregulates ECM catabolism, and promotes ECM anabolism. Our results suggest that 5-ASA could serve as a DMOAD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

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