Age-dependent genetic regulation of osteoarthritis: independent effects of immune system genes

Jacob Kenny, Benjamin H. Mullin, William Tomlinson, Brett Robertson, Jinbo Yuan, Weiwei Chen, Jinmin Zhao, Nathan J. Pavlos, John P. Walsh, Scott G. Wilson, Jennifer Tickner, Grant Morahan, Jiake Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease with a heritable component. Genetic loci identified via genome-wide association studies (GWAS) account for an estimated 26.3% of the disease trait variance in humans. Currently, there is no method for predicting the onset or progression of OA. We describe the first use of the Collaborative Cross (CC), a powerful genetic resource, to investigate knee OA in mice, with follow-up targeted multi-omics analysis of homologous regions of the human genome. Methods: We histologically screened 275 mice for knee OA and conducted quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in the complete cohort (> 8 months) and the younger onset sub-cohort (8–12 months). Multi-omic analysis of human genetic datasets was conducted to investigate significant loci. Results: We observed a range of OA phenotypes. QTL mapping identified a genome-wide significant locus on mouse chromosome 19 containing Glis3, the human equivalent of which has been identified as associated with OA in recent GWAS. Mapping the younger onset sub-cohort identified a genome-wide significant locus on chromosome 17. Multi-omic analysis of the homologous region of the human genome (6p21.32) indicated the presence of pleiotropic effects on the expression of the HLA − DPB2 gene and knee OA development risk, potentially mediated through the effects on DNA methylation. Conclusions: The significant associations at the 6p21.32 locus in human datasets highlight the value of the CC model of spontaneous OA that we have developed and lend support for an immune role in the disease. Our results in mice also add to the accumulating evidence of a role for Glis3 in OA.

Original languageEnglish
Article number232
Number of pages12
JournalArthritis Research and Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2023


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