Research News

Adrian Monstad-RiosCongrats to Musculoskeletal Systems Biology Lab (MSBL) member Adrian Monstad-Rios who has been accepted to the Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP)!

SURP offers undergraduates the opportunity to work in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics research position that...

Epigenetic regulation of articular joints

UW Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine faculty, staff, residents and medical students will be presenting at the Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) 2014 Annual Meeting in New Orleans on March 15-18. The following is a selection of the papers and posters being presented by our department.

ESET Histone Methyltransferase Regulates Terminal Differentiation Of Articular Chondrocytes

Kevin A. Lawson, Colin J. Teteak, Junhui Zou, Jacques Hacquebord, Andrew Ghatan, Anna Zielinska-Kwiatkowska, Russell J. Fernandes, Howard A. Chansky, Liu Yang
The first author Kevin A. Lawson (a 4th year medical student working in the Molecular Orthopaedics Lab) has been selected as the finalist for New Investigator Recognition Award at this meeting.

ESET Histone Methyltransferase Is Required For Postnatal Development And Maintenance Of The Cruciate Ligaments

Michael J. Chen, Sean Haloman, M.D., John W. McCornack, Daniel J. Leong, Hui B. Sun, Ph.D.,...

Featured Articles

Bone marrow- or vessel wall-derived osteoprotegerin is sufficient to reduce atherosclerotic lesion size and vascular calcification. Callegari A, Coons ML, Ricks JL, Yang HL, Gross TS, Huber P, Rosenfeld ME, Scatena M. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2013 Nov;33(11):2491-500. doi: 10.1161/ATVBAHA.113.301755. Epub 2013 Aug 29. PMID: 23990207

Vascular calcification refers to the mineralization of ectopic soft tissue in the walls of vessels in the vasculature system.  Of most concern is arterial wall mineralization, which is present in a majority of patients affected by cardiovascular disease. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a protein known to be involved in regulating bone homeostasis but has also been shown to play a controversial role in vascular calcification.  Researchers at the UW’s Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine and Department of Bioengineering have found that OPG can strongly...

Burst fractures of the lumbar spine in frontal crashes

Kaufman RP, Ching RP, Willis MM, Mack CD, Gross JA, Bulger EM. Accid Anal Prev. 2013 Oct;59:153-63. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2013.05.023. Epub 2013 Jun 3. PMID: 2379261

Researchers at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center examined the types of motor vehicle accidents that can cause major compression lumbar spine (MCLS) fractures.  Compression and burst fractures of the lumbar spine are defined as a > 20% loss in height.  In the US, these types of injuries continue to occur despite improvements in restraint technology.  Researchers examined databases from the National Automative Sampling System (NASS) and Crash Injury Research and Engineering Network (CIREN) to examine biomechanical data and mechanism of injury for patients who have suffered MCLS fractures.  Study investigators found that frontal...

ESET histone methyltransferase is essential to hypertrophic differentiation of growth plate chondrocytes and formation of epiphyseal plates
Yang L, Lawson KA, Teteak CJ, Zou J, Hacquebord J, Patterson D, Ghatan AC, Mei Q, Zielinska-Kwiatkowska A, Bain SD, Fernandes RJ, Chansky HA. Dev Biol. 2013 May 4. doi:pii: S0012-1606(13)00225-X. 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.04.031. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23652029

 A team of researchers at the Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine—led by faculty member, Liu Yang—have discovered that the protein ESET is fundamentally important in skeletal development.  ESET is a histone methyltransferase that catalyzes methylation of histones on DNA.  Their study used knock-out mice that were deficient in the ESET protein.  Comparisons with wild type mice found several key differences in the knock-out mice: 1) chondroctyes rapidly underwent hypertrophy, depleting...

Bone Collagen: New Clues to Its Mineralization Mechanism from Recessive Osteogenesis Imperfecta. Eyre DR, Weis MA. Calcif Tissue Int. 2013 Mar 19. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23508630


In this review article, Dr. David Eyre and Mary Ann Weis (part of the Collagen Biology and Genetic Disorders Lab) discuss the mechanism behind bone collagen mineralization by examining recent findings about the genetic disorder osteogensis imperfecta.

Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI) is a congenital bone disorder that is commonly known as “brittle bone disease.”  OI causes bones to fracture easily; it can cause loose joints, short stature and severe bone deformation.   It is caused by the inadequate formation of collagen—an important protein structure that creates the matrix on which...

Comparison of Dry-Land Training Programs Between Age Groups of Swimmers
Krabak BJ, Hancock KJ, Drake S. PM R. 2013 Jan 29. doi:pii: S1934-1482(12)01710-8. 10.1016/j.pmrj.2012.11.003. PMID: 23375633



Faculty member Dr. Brian J. Krabak led a study that describes the use of dry-land training in swimmer athletes.  Traditionally, dry-land training has been used to enhance performance in the water and prevent injuries.  However, there is conflicting data that shows that these benefits actually exist.  By first establishing a description of the current use of dry land training by swim coaches, this can help establish future studies that examine the proposed benefits of this type of training.


Click here to view the complete article.

White KK, Sousa T., J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2013 Jan;21(1):12-22. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-21-01-12. PMID: 23281467

 UW Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine faculty, Klane White, and resident, Ted Sousa, published a review article about a rare family of genetic disorders, mucopolysaccharidoses (MPSs).  There are seven distinct types of MPS that show similar clinical symptoms but range in severity.  MPSs are disorders characterized by the cell’s inability to degrade glycoaminoglycans (GAGs), long chains of sugar molecules that are the normal byproducts of cells.  This inability is attributed to the lack of or malfunction of lysosomal enzymes that normally serve to break these byproducts down.  Since the body is no longer able to break down GAGs, these accumulate in cells, disrupt normal cellular function and have a system wide effect on mental development, physical appearance and organ function. 

 According to the authors, skeletal abnormalities are early and prominent features of MPS, and the orthopaedic surgeon is often the first healthcare provider to raise suspicion for this diagnosis.  So it is important for orthopaedic surgeons...

Baumann angle and radial-ulnar overlap: a radiographic study to control for the angle of the x-ray beam.
J. Lee Pace, MD, Brett Wiater, MD, Gregory Schmale, MD, Thomas Jinguji, MD, Viviana Bompadre, PhD, and Walter Krengel III, MD.  Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Seattle Children’s Hospital, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. J Pediatr Orthop. 2012 Jul-Aug;32(5):467-72. PMID: 22706461


UW Orthopaedic Faculty at Seattle Children’s Hospital wanted to investigate if there was any “surrogate” measure that could control for the angle of x-ray beams when examining Baumann’s angle.  Baumann’s angle (BA) is the most common radiographic measurement used to assess the alignment of the distal humerus and an abnormal BA can indicate to a physician a possible deformity in the distal humerus.  The angle at which the x-ray beam is positioned has an effect on the Baumann’s angle, as another paper...

Type III collagen, a fibril network modifier in articular cartilage Wu JJ, Weis MA, Kim LS, Eyre DR J Biol Chem. 2010 Jun 11;285(24):18537-4 

In a recent article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, UW Orthopaedics researchers David Eyre and colleagues Maryann Weiss, Lannie Kim, and James Wu describe the role of type III collagen. This protein is synthesized in mature articular cartilage, as a covalent modifier that may add cohesion to a weakened, existing collagen type II fibril network as part of a chondrocyte healing response to matrix damage. In the articular cartilages of adult joints, type III collagen makes an appearance in varying amounts superimposed on the original collagen fibril network. In a study to understand better the structural role of type III collagen in cartilage, the researchers found that type III collagen molecules with unprocessed N-propeptides are present in the extracellular matrix of adult human and bovine articular cartilages as covalently crosslinked polymers extensively cross-linked to type II collagen.


Comparison of one and two-stage revision of total hip arthroplasty complicated by infection: a markov expected-utility decision analysis. Wolf CF, Gu NY, Doctor JN, Manner PA, Leopold SS. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 2011 Apr;93(7):631-9. PMID: 21471416

Department of Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Faculty members Seth Leopold and Paul Manner together used Markov modeling to study approaches to revision of total hip arthroplasty. Two-stage revisions complicated by chronic infection result in reinfection rates that are lower than those following single-stage revisions but may also result in increased surgical morbidity. Using a decision analysis, they compared single-stage and two-stage revisions to determine which treatment modality resulted in greater quality-adjusted life years (QALYs).

A review of the literature on the treatment of patients with an infection at the site of a total hip arthroplasty provided probabilities; utility values for common...

Risk Factors for Medical Complication After Lumbar Spine Surgery: A Multivariate Analysis of 767 Patients. Lee, Michael J. MD; Hacquebord, Jacques MD; Varshney, 
Anuj MD; Cizik, Amy M. MPH; Bransford, Richard J. MD; Bellabarba, Carlo MD; Konodi, Mark A. MS; Chapman, Jens MD 

Spine Surgery graphMany prior studies of complications during spine surgery have been done utilizing large national databases (e.g. Medicare and the National Inpatient Sample (NIS)). Although these allow for analysis of thousands of patients, potentially influential covariates are not...