Objectives Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying human cartilage degeneration and regeneration is helpful for improving therapeutic strategies for treating osteoarthritis (OA). Here, we report the molecular programmes and lineage progression patterns controlling human OA pathogenesis using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Methods We performed unbiased transcriptome-wide scRNA-seq analysis, computational analysis and histological assays on 1464 chondrocytes from 10 patients with OA undergoing knee arthroplasty surgery. We investigated the relationship between transcriptional programmes of the OA landscape and clinical outcome using severity index and correspondence analysis. Results We identified seven molecularly defined populations of chondrocytes in the human OA cartilage, including three novel phenotypes with distinct functions. We presented gene expression profiles at different OA stages at single-cell resolution. We found a potential transition among proliferative chondrocytes, prehypertrophic chondrocytes and hypertrophic chondrocytes (HTCs) and defined a new subdivision within HTCs. We revealed novel markers for cartilage progenitor cells (CPCs) and demonstrated a relationship between CPCs and fibrocartilage chondrocytes using computational analysis. Notably, we derived predictive targets with respect to clinical outcomes and clarified the role of different cell types for the early diagnosis and treatment of OA. Conclusions Our results provide new insights into chondrocyte taxonomy and present potential clues for effective and functional manipulation of human OA cartilage regeneration that could lead to improved health.
Objectives To identify novel DNA methylation sites significant for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and comprehensively understand their underlying pathological mechanism. Methods We performed (1) genome-wide DNA methylation and mRNA expression profiling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from RA patients and health controls; (2) correlation analysis and causal inference tests for DNA methylation and mRNA expression data; (3) differential methylation genes regulatory network construction; (4) validation tests of 10 differential methylation positions (DMPs) of interest and corresponding gene expressions; (5) correlation between PARP9 methylation and its mRNA expression level in Jurkat cells and T cells from patients with RA; (6) testing the pathological functions of PARP9 in Jurkat cells. Results A total of 1046 DNA methylation positions were associated with RA. The identified DMPs have regulatory effects on mRNA expressions. Causal inference tests identified six DNA methylation-mRNA-RA regulatory chains (eg, cg00959259-PARP9-RA). The identified DMPs and genes formed an interferon-inducible gene interaction network (eg, MX1, IFI44L, DTX3L and PARP9). Key DMPs and corresponding genes were validated their differences in additional samples. Methylation of PARP9 was correlated with mRNA level in Jurkat cells and T lymphocytes isolated from patients with RA. The PARP9 gene exerted significant effects on Jurkat cells (eg, cell cycle, cell proliferation, cell activation and expression of inflammatory factor IL-2). Conclusions This multistage study identified an interferon-inducible gene interaction network associated with RA and highlighted the importance of PARP9 gene in RA pathogenesis. The results enhanced our understanding of the important role of DNA methylation in pathology of RA.