BACKGROUND: The synovial membrane lines the luminal side of the joint capsule in synovial joints. It maintains joint homeostasis and plays a crucial role in equine joint pathology. When trauma or inflammation is induced in a joint, the synovial membrane influences progression of joint damage. Equine synovial membrane research is hampered by a lack of markers of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) to distinguish FLS from other fibroblast-like cells in musculoskeletal connective tissues. The aim of this study is to identify potential FLS markers of the equine synovial membrane using microarray to compare between gene expression in equine synovial membrane and the joint capsule in metacarpophalangeal joints.
RESULTS: Microarray analysis of tissues from 6 horses resulted in 1167 up-regulated genes in synovial membrane compared with joint capsule. Pathway analysis resulted in 241 candidate genes. Of these, 15 genes were selected for further confirmation as genes potentially expressed by fibroblast-like synoviocytes. Four genes: FOXO1, PXK, PYCARD and SAMD9L were confirmed in 9 horses by qPCR as differentially expressed in synovial membrane compared to joint capsule.
CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, FOXO1, PXK, PYCARD and SAMD9L were confirmed as differentially expressed in synovial membrane compared to joint capsule. These four genes are potential markers of fibroblast-like synoviocytes of the synovial membrane. As these genes are overexpressed in synovial membrane compared to joint capsule, these genes could shed light on synovial membrane physiology and its role in joint disease.
- synovial membrane
- fibroblast-like synoviocytes