Complement Proteins C5/C5a, Cathepsin D and Prolactin in Chondrocytes: A Possible Crosstalk in the Pathogenesis of Osteoarthritis.Cells. 2022 03 28; 11(7)C
Both increased activity of the complement system (CS) and the role of the pituitary hormone prolactin (PRL) are implicated in osteoarthritis (OA) pathogenesis. Besides, Cathepsin D (CatD) activity is increased in the context of OA and can exert not only proteolytic but also non-proteolytic effects on cells. For the first time, possible crosstalk between two separate humoral systems: the CS and the PRL hormone systems in chondrocytes are examined together.
Primary human articular chondrocytes (hAC) were stimulated with complement protein C5 (10 µg /mL), PRL (25 ng/mL), CatD (100 ng/mL), or anaphylatoxin C5a (25 ng/mL) for 24 h or 72 h, while unstimulated cells served as controls. In addition, co-stimulations of C5 or PRL with CatD were carried out under the same conditions. The influence of the stimulants on cell viability, cell proliferation, and metabolic activity of hAC, the chondrosarcoma cell line OUMS-27, and endothelial cells of the human umbilical cord vein (HUVEC) was investigated. Gene expression analysis of C5a receptor (C5aR1), C5, complement regulatory protein CD59, PRL, PRL receptor (PRLR), CatD, and matrix metal-loproteinases (MMP)-13 were performed using real-time PCR. Also, collagen type (Col) I, Col II, C5aR1, CD59, and PRL were detected on protein level using immunofluorescence labeling.
The stimulation of the hAC showed no significant impairment of the cell viability. C5, C5a, and PRL induced cell growth in OUMS-27 and HUVEC, but not in chondrocytes. CatD, as well as C5, significantly reduced the gene expression of CatD, C5aR1, C5, and CD59. PRLR gene expression was likewise impaired by C5, C5a, and PRL+CatD stimulation. On the protein level, CatD, as well as C5a, decreased Col II as well as C5aR1 synthesis.
The significant suppression of the C5 gene expression under the influence of PRL+CatD and that of CD59 via PRL+/-CatD and conversely a suppression of the PRLR gene expression via C5 alone or C5a stimulation indicates an interrelation between the two mentioned systems. In addition, CatD and C5, in contrast to PRL, directly mediate possible negative feedback of their own gene expression.