Metabolomic profiling in the characterization of degenerative bone and joint diseases

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© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthropathies are a cause of significant morbidity globally. New research elucidating the metabolic derangements associated with a variety of bone and joint disorders implicates various local and systemic metabolites, which further elucidate the underlying molecular mechanisms associated with these destructive disease processes. In osteoarthritis, atty acid metabolism has been implicated in disease development, both locally and systemically. Several series of rheumatoid arthritis patients have demonstrated overlapping trends related to histidine and glyceric acid, while other series showed similar results of increased cholesterol and glutamic acid. Studies comparing osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis reported elevated gluconic acid and glycolytic-and tricarboxylic acid-related substrates in patients with osteoarthritis, while lysosphingolipids and cardiolipins were elevated only in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Other bone and joint disorders, including osteonecrosis, intervertebral disc degeneration, and osteoporosis, also showed significant alterations in metabolic processes. The identification of the molecular mechanisms of osteoarthritis and inflammatory arthropathies via metabolomics-based workflows may allow for the development of new therapeutic targets to improve the quality of life in these patient populations.

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