Acid-sensing ion channel 3 expressed in type B synoviocytes and chondrocytes modulates hyaluronan expression and release.

Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 May;69(5):903-9
Authors: Kolker SJ, Walder RY, Usachev Y, Hillman J, Boyle DL, Firestein GS, Sluka KA

BACKGROUND: Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease marked by intra-articular decreases in pH, aberrant hyaluronan regulation and destruction of bone and cartilage. Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) are the primary acid sensors in the nervous system, particularly in sensory neurons and are important in nociception. ASIC3 was recently discovered in synoviocytes, non-neuronal joint cells critical to the inflammatory process. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the role of ASIC3 in joint tissue, specifically the relationship between ASIC3 and hyaluronan and the response to decreased pH. METHODS: Histochemical methods were used to compare morphology, hyaluronan expression and ASIC3 expression in ASIC3+/+ and ASIC3-/- mouse knee joints. Isolated fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) were used to examine hyaluronan release and intracellular calcium in response to decreases in pH. RESULTS: In tissue sections from ASIC3+/+ mice, ASIC3 localised to articular cartilage, growth plate, meniscus and type B synoviocytes. In cultured FLS, ASIC3 mRNA and protein was also expressed. In FLS cultures, pH 5.5 increased hyaluronan release in ASIC3+/+ FLS, but not ASIC3-/- FLS. In FLS from ASIC3+/+ mice, approximately 50% of cells (25/53) increased intracellular calcium while only 24% (14/59) showed an increase in ASIC3-/- FLS. Of the cells that responded to pH 5.5, there was significantly less intracellular calcium increases in ASIC3-/- FLS compared to ASIC3+/+ FLS. CONCLUSION: ASIC3 may serve as a pH sensor in synoviocytes and be important for modulation of expression of hyaluronan within joint tissue.
PMID: 19933746 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]