e0202373 (12 pages)
Pathological calcium-containing crystals accumulating in the joints, synovial fluid, and soft tissues are noted in most elderly patients, yet arthritic crystal formation remains idiopathic. Interestingly, elevated lactic acid and bone erosion are frequently among the comorbidities and clinical features of patients with highest incidence of crystal arthropathies. This work shows that bone particulates (modeling bone erosion) dissolve in lactic acid and directly generate crystals, possibly presenting a mechanism for crystal accumulation in osteoarthritis.
Methods and results
Micronized human bone (average particle size of 160 μm x 79 μm ) completely dissolved in lactic acid in 48 hours, and in synovial fluid with 500 mMol lactic acid in 5 days, generating birefringent rhomboid and rod-shaped crystals. SEM analysis with energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy of these crystals showed average dimensions of around 2 μm x 40 μm, which contained oxygen, calcium and phosphorous at 8.64:1.85:1. Raman spectroscopy of the generated crystals further showed 910/cm and 1049/cm peaks, aligning with calcium oxalate monohydrate and calcium pyrophosphate, respectively.
This work shows that lactic acid and micronized mineralized bone together directly generate calcium-containing crystals. These observations may provide insights into the elusive etiology of arthritis with crystal involvement, possibly indicating lactic acid as a clinical target for treatment.
Original Publication Citation
Bulysheva, A. A., Sori, N., & Francis, M. P. (2018). Direct crystal formation from micronized bone and lactic acid: The writing on the wall for calcium-containing crystal pathogenesis in osteoarthritis? PLOS One, 13(11), e0202373. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0202373
Bulysheva, Anna A.; Sori, Nardos; and Francis, Michael P., "Direct Crystal Formation from Micronized Bone and Lactic Acid: The Writing on the Wall for Calcium-Containing Crystal Pathogenesis in Osteoarthritis?" (2018). Bioelectrics Publications. 223.