Histopathological signatures of the femoral head in patients with osteonecrosis and potential applications in a multi-targeted approach: A pilot study

Giovanna Desando, Livia Roseti, Isabella Bartolotti, Dante Dallari, Cesare Stagni, Brunella Grigolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

(1) Background: Osteonecrosis (ON) of the femoral head is a disabling disease for which limited treatment options exist. Identifying therapeutic targets of its evolution could provide crucial insights into multi-targeted approaches. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the histopathological features of patients with non-traumatic femoral head (NTFH) and post-traumatic femoral head (PTFH) ON to produce a fresh vision for clinical use. (2) Methods: We got biopsies from patients with different ON stages, according to the ARCO system. Samples from multi-organ donors were used as controls. Histological and immunohistochemical evaluations were performed on the osteochondral unit. (3) Results: The PTFH group displayed several fibrotic reactions, a small stem cell pool and a lower international cartilage repair society (ICRS)-I score than NTFH, which instead presented intact cartilage similar to the controls. Immunostaining for collagen I and autotaxin confirmed these features in the PTFH group, which displayed top levels of MMP-13 involved in cartilage loss and reduced CB-2 in the underlying bone. Both groups manifested a similar pattern of apoptotic and pain mediators. (4) Conclusions: The different histopathological features suggest a multi-disciplinary and multi-targeted approach for ON. Further studies are necessary to measure the effect size to gain clinical evidence.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3945
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Volume10
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 6 2020

Keywords

  • Multi-targeted approach
  • Osteochondral unit
  • Osteonecrosis
  • Tissue remodelling and repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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