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Open Access Open Badges Research article

OPN gene polymorphisms influence the risk of knee OA and OPN levels in synovial fluid in a Chinese population

Yongqing Jiang*, Meng Yao, Qingpeng Liu and Changwei Zhou

Author affiliations

Department of Orthopedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Harbin Medical University, 194 Nangang District, Harbin, 150081, China

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2013, 15:R3  doi:10.1186/ar4129

Published: 5 January 2013



A body of studies suggests the role of osteopontin (OPN) in onset and development of osteoarthritis (OA), however, the association between OPN polymorphisms and OA susceptibility as well as its clinical features has not been reported.


A total of 750 patients with primary knee OA and 794 healthy volunteer were enrolled as controls. Both OA and control groups were interviewed to obtain demographic and clinical data. Three polymorphisms of OPN gene, namely, -156GG/G, -443C/T and -66T/G were determined. The levels of the full length and the thrombin-cleaved OPN in synovial fluid (SF) from OA subjects were measured.


We found the polymorphisms of the -443C/T and the -66/T/G were significantly associated with the OA risk and the radiographic severity. The -443TT and -66GG showed protective effect against developing OA and were associated with lower Kellgren-Lawrence grade. Besides, the polymorphisms of -443C/T and -66T/G significantly affected the thrombin-cleaved OPN levels in SF from OA subjects. Subjects with -443TT and -66GG genotypes had lower thrombin-cleaved OPN levels in SF. The thrombin-cleaved OPN levels in SF were positively correlated to the radiographic severity of OA.


Our findings suggest that certain OPN gene polymorphisms may be used as molecular markers for the susceptibility and severity of OA.