Early Gβγ-GRK2 Inhibition Ameliorates Osteoarthritis Development by Simultaneous Anti-Inflammatory and Chondroprotective Effects

Vengadeshprabhu Karuppagounder, William Pinamont, Natalie Yoshioka, Reyad Elbarbary, Fadia Kamal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The G-protein-coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) is an important regulator of inflammation and pathological macrophage phenotype in a variety of diseases. We hypothesize that Gβγ-GRK2 signaling promotes the early inflammatory response and chondrocyte loss in osteoarthritis (OA). Using the destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) model in 12-week-old male C57BL/6 mice, we determined the role of Gβγ-GRK2 signaling in synovitis, macrophage activation, and OA development. We achieved Gβγ-GRK2 inhibition at the time of DMM by administering the Gβγ inhibitor “gallein” and the GRK2 inhibitor “paroxetine” daily, starting from 2 days before DMM surgery, for a duration of 1 or 12 weeks. Synovial and cartilage structural changes were evaluated by histomorphometry, and molecular events and macrophage activation were examined. We studied the direct role of Gβγ-GRK2 in synovitis and macrophage activation in vitro using SW982 and THP1 cells. Continuous Gβγ-GRK2 inhibition initiated at the time of DMM attenuated OA development and decreased chondrocyte loss more effectively than delayed treatment. GRK2 expression and the M1 macrophage phenotype were elevated in the inflamed synovium, while early gallein and paroxetine treatment for 1 and 12 weeks following DMM resulted in their reduction and an upregulated M2 macrophage phenotype. In vitro experiments showed that Gβγ-GRK2 inhibition attenuated synoviocyte inflammation and the M1 phenotype. We show that early Gβγ-GRK2 inhibition is of higher therapeutic efficacy in OA than delayed inhibition, as it prevents OA development by inhibiting the early inflammatory response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7933
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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