Sirtuin 1 enzymatic activity is required for cartilage homeostasis in vivo in a mouse model

Odile Gabay*, Christelle Sanchez, Mona Dvir-Ginzberg, Viktoria Gagarina, Kristien J. Zaal, Yingjie Song, Xiao Hong He, Michael W. McBurney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Objective We and others previously demonstrated that sirtuin 1 (SIRT-1) regulates apoptosis and cartilage-specific gene expression in human chondrocytes and mouse models. This study was undertaken to determine if SIRT-1 enzymatic activity plays a protective role in cartilage homeostasis in vivo, by investigating mice with SIRT-1 mutations to characterize their cartilage. Methods Articular cartilage was harvested from the paws and knees of 5- and 6-month-old wild-type (WT) mice and mice homozygous for SIRT-1 tm2.1Mcby (SIRT-1y/y), an allele carrying a point mutation that encodes a SIRT-1 protein with no enzymatic activity (y/y mice). Mice ages 2 days old and 6-7 days old were also examined. Mouse joint cartilage was processed for histologic examination or biochemical analyses of chondrocyte cultures. Results We found that articular cartilage tissue sections from y/y mice of up to 6 months of age contained reduced levels of type II collagen, aggrecan, and glycosaminoglycan compared to sections from WT mice. In contrast, protein levels of matrix metalloproteinase 8 (MMP-8), MMP-9, and MMP-13 were elevated in the cartilage of y/y mice. In addition, chondrocyte apoptosis was elevated in SIRT-1 mutant mice as compared to their WT littermates. Consistent with these observations, protein tyrosine phosphatase 1b was elevated in the y/y mice. Conclusion Our in vivo findings in this animal model demonstrate that mice with defective SIRT-1 also have defective cartilage, with elevated rates of cartilage degradation with age. Hence, normal cartilage homeostasis requires enzymatically active SIRT-1 protein.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalArthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


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