Journal of Molecular Medicine

, Volume 90, Issue 10, pp 1185–1195 | Cite as

Regulation of H19 and its encoded microRNA-675 in osteoarthritis and under anabolic and catabolic in vitro conditions

  • Eric Steck
  • Stephane Boeuf
  • Jessica Gabler
  • Nadine Werth
  • Philipp Schnatzer
  • Solvig Diederichs
  • Wiltrud RichterEmail author
Original Article


Cartilage degeneration in the course of osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with an alteration in chondrocyte metabolism. In order to identify molecules representing putative key regulators for diagnosis and therapeutic intervention, we analyzed gene expression and microRNA (miR) levels in OA and normal knee cartilage using a customized cartilage cDNA array and quantitative RT-PCR. Among newly identified candidate molecules, H19, IGF2, and ITM2A were significantly elevated in OA compared to normal cartilage. H19 is an imprinted maternally expressed gene influencing IGF2 expression, whose transcript is a long noncoding (lnc) RNA of unknown biological function harboring the miR-675. H19 and IGF2 mRNA levels did not correlate significantly within cartilage samples suggesting that deregulation by imprinting effects are unlikely. A significant correlation was, however, observed for H19, COL2A1, and miR-675 expression levels in OA tissue, and functional regulation of these candidate molecules was assessed under anabolic and catabolic conditions. Culture of chondrocytes under hypoxic signaling showed co-upregulation of H19, COL2A1, and miRNA-675 levels in close correlation. Proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α downregulated COL2A1, H19, and miR-675 significantly without close statistical correlation. In conclusion, this is the first report demonstrating deregulation of an lncRNA and its encoded miR in the context of OA-affected cartilage. Stress-induced regulation of H19 expression by hypoxic signaling and inflammation suggests that lncRNA H19 acts as a metabolic correlate in cartilage and cultured chondrocytes, while the miR-675 may indirectly influence COL2A1 levels. H19 may not only be an attractive marker for cell anabolism but also a potential target to stimulate cartilage recovery.


Long noncoding RNA (lncRNAs; lncRNA) MicroRNA (miR) Chondrocytes Gene expression Hypoxia Inflammation 



The authors thank Michaela Burkhardt for excellent technical assistance and Simone Gantz for professional statistical support. This work was supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG grant Ri707/7-1), German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF grant 0315579), and the Orthopaedic University Hospital Heidelberg.

Conflict of interest

Authors disclose any commercial or other potential conflict of interest regarded to this work.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Steck
    • 1
  • Stephane Boeuf
    • 1
  • Jessica Gabler
    • 1
  • Nadine Werth
    • 1
  • Philipp Schnatzer
    • 1
  • Solvig Diederichs
    • 1
  • Wiltrud Richter
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Research Centre for Experimental OrthopaedicsOrthopaedic University Hospital HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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