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Immune cell profiling in the joint following human and murine articular fracture.

OBJECTIVE: Human and in vivo animal research implicates inflammation following articular fracture as contributing to post-traumatic arthritis. However, relevant immune cell subsets present following injury are currently undefined. Immunophenotyping human and murine synovial fluid may help to identify immune cell populations that play key roles in the response to articular fracture. METHODS: Immunophenotyping by polychromatic flow cytometry was performed on human and mouse synovial fluid following articular fracture. Specimens were collected in patients with closed ankle fracture at the time of surgical fixation and from C57BL/6 mice with closed articular knee fracture. Immune cells were collected from injured and uninjured joints in mice via a novel cell isolation method. Whole blood samples were also collected. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) was performed on mouse synovial tissue to assess for macrophages and T cells. RESULTS: Following intra-articular fracture, the prominent human synovial fluid immune cell subset was CD3+ T cells, containing both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. In mice, infiltration of CD45+ immune cells in synovial fluid of the fractured limb was dominated by CD19+ B cells and CD3+ T cells at 7 days after intra-articular fracture. We also detected adaptive immune cells, including macrophages, NK cells, dendritic cells and monocytes. Macrophage and T cell findings were supported by IHC of murine synovial tissue. CONCLUSIONS: Determining specific cell populations that mediate the immune response is essential to elucidating the chain of events initiated after injury and may be an important step in identifying potential immune signatures predictive of PTA susceptibility or potential therapeutic targets.


Furman, B. D., J. H. Zeitlin, M. W. Buchanan, J. L. Huebner, V. B. Kraus, J. S. Yi, S. B. Adams, and S. A. Olson. “Immune cell profiling in the joint following human and murine articular fracture.” Osteoarthritis Cartilage 29, no. 6 (June 2021): 915–23.

Published Date: 
Tuesday, June 1, 2021
Published In: 
Osteoarthritis Cartilage