Does a high-fat diet affect the development and progression of osteoarthritis in mice? A systematic review

Valerio Sansone, Rachel C Applefield, Paola De Luca, Valentina Pecoraro, Silvia Gianola, Walter Pascale, Valerio Pascale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aims: The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature for evidence of the effect of a high-fat diet (HFD) on the onset or progression of osteoarthritis (OA) in mice.

Methods: A literature search was performed in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus to find all studies on mice investigating the effects of HFD or Western-type diet on OA when compared with a control diet (CD). The primary outcome was the determination of cartilage loss and alteration. Secondary outcomes regarding local and systemic levels of proteins involved in inflammatory processes or cartilage metabolism were also examined when reported.

Results: In total, 14 publications met our inclusion criteria and were included in our review. Our meta-analysis showed that, when measured by the modified Mankin Histological-Histochemical Grading System, there was a significantly higher rate of OA in mice fed a HFD than in mice on a CD (standardized mean difference (SMD) 1.27, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.63 to 1.91). Using the Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) score, there was a trend towards HFD causing OA (SMD 0.78, 95% CI -0.04 to 1.61). In terms of OA progression, a HFD consistently worsened the progression of surgically induced OA when compared with a CD. Finally, numerous inflammatory cytokines such as tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, and leptin, among others, were found to be altered by a HFD.

Conclusion: A HFD seems to induce or exacerbate the progression of OA in mice. The metabolic changes and systemic inflammation brought about by a HFD appear to be key players in the onset and progression of OA.Cite this article:Bone Joint Res 2019;8:582-592.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)582-592
Number of pages11
JournalBone and Joint Research
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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