Correlation between osteoarthritis and monocyte chemotactic protein-1 expression: a meta-analysis

Objective: We evaluated the association between monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) and osteoarthritis.

Methods: We searched PubMed, Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), VIP (Chinese database), and Wan Fang (Chinese database) (before May 10, 2020), with no language limitations. STATA version 12.0 and Revman version 5.3 were used for data analysis. The standard mean difference (SMD) and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. Nine clinical studies, including 376 patients with osteoarthritis and 306 healthy controls, were evaluated.

Results: The combined SMDs of MCP-1 expression levels suggested that MCP-1 expression was significantly higher in patients with osteoarthritis than healthy controls (SMD = 1.97, 95% CI = 0.66-3.28, p = 0.003). Moreover, subgroup analysis implied that osteoarthritis patients from both Asians and mixed populations had higher MCP-1 expression levels than controls, whereas Caucasians did not (p > 0.05). Serum MCP-1 levels (SMD = 2.83, 95% CI = 1.07-4.6, p < 0.00001) were significantly higher in patients with osteoarthritis than in controls; however, this difference was not significant in synovial fluid and cartilage tissue. Subgroup analysis for ethnicity showed that MCP-1 levels were significantly higher in Chinese, Dutch, and Brazilian patients with osteoarthritis than in control groups, although significant differences were not observed for American and Italian subgroups.

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that MCP-1 expression levels were higher in patients with osteoarthritis than in healthy controls and that MCP-1 may play important roles in the progression of osteoarthritis. Serum MCP-1 levels may serve as a potential biomarker for the diagnosis of osteoarthritis.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; Monocyte chemotactic protein-1; Osteoarthritis.