Correlations between metabolites in the synovial fluid and serum: A mouse injury study


Osteoarthritis occurs frequently after joint injury. Currently, osteoarthritis is diagnosed by radiographic changes that are typically found after the disease has progressed to multiple tissues. The primary objective was to compare potential metabolomic biomarkers of joint injury between synovial fluid and serum in a mouse model of posttraumatic osteoarthritis. The secondary objective was to gain insight into the pathophysiology of osteoarthritis by examining metabolomic profiles after joint injury. Twelve-week-old adult female C57BL/6 mice (n = 12) were randomly assigned to control, Day 1, or Day 8 postinjury groups. Randomly selected stifle joints were subjected to a single rapid compression. At Days 1 and 8 postinjury, serum was extracted before mice were euthanized for synovial fluid collection. Metabolomic profiling detected ~2500 metabolites across serum and synovial fluid. Of these, 179 were positively correlated and 51 were negatively correlated between synovial fluid and serum, indicating the potential for the development of metabolomic biomarkers. Synovial fluid captured injury-induced differences in metabolomic profiles at both Days 1 and 8 after injury whereas serum did not. However, synovial fluid and serum were distinct at both time points after injury. In synovial fluid, pathways of interest mapped to amino acid synthesis and degradation, bupropion degradation, and transfer RNA (tRNA) charging. In serum, pathways were amino acid synthesis and degradation, the phospholipase pathway, and nicotine degradation. These results provide a rich picture of the injury response at early time points after joint injury. Furthermore, the correlations between synovial fluid and serum metabolites suggest the potential to gain insight into intra-articular pathophysiology through analysis of serum metabolites.


This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [Correlations between metabolites in the synovial fluid and serum: A mouse injury study. Journal of Orthopaedic Research (2022)], which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions:


metabolites fluid


Wallace, Cameron W., Brady Hislop, Alyssa K. Hahn, Ayten E. Erdogan, Priyanka P. Brahmachary, and Ronald K. June. "Correlations between metabolites in the synovial fluid and serum: a mouse injury study." Journal of Orthopaedic Research® (2022).
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