Open Access Short Report

A microarray analysis of full depth knee cartilage of ovariectomized rats

Anne C Bay-Jensen1*, Rasmus H Nielsen1, Toni Segovia-Silvestre1, Moïse Azria2, Frank Staedtler2, Martin Letzkus2, Nicole Hartmann2, Arndt H Brachat2 and Morten A Karsdal1

Author Affiliations

1 Cartilage biology and biomarkers, Nordic Bioscience, Herlev, Denmark

2 Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis Pharma AG, Basel, Switzerland

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:63  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-63

Published: 15 March 2011



This short communication focuses the on articular cartilage and the subchondral bone, both of which play important roles in the development of osteoarthritis (OA). There are indications that estrogen-deficiency, as the post-menopausal state, accelerate the development of OA.


We investigated, which extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, proteases and different pro-inflammatory factors was up- or down-regulated in the knee joint tissue in response to estrogen-deficiency in rats induced by ovariectomy. These data support previous findings that several metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cysteine proteases are co-regulated with numerous collagens and proteoglycans that are important for cartilage integrity. Furthermore quite a few pro-inflammatory cytokines were regulated by estrogen deprivation.


We found multiple genes where regulated in the joint by estrogen-deficiency, many of which correspond well with our current knowledge of the pathogenesis of OA. It supports that estrogen-deficiency (e.g. OVX) may accelerate joint deterioration. However, there are also data that draw attention the need for better understanding of the synergy between proteases and tissue turnover.