Cartilage tissue turnover increases with high- compared to low-intensity resistance training in patients with knee OA

Christian S. Thudium, Amalie Engstrøm, Anne-Christine Bay-Jensen, Peder Frederiksen, Nuria Jansen, Arjan de Zwart, Marike van der Leeden, Joost Dekker, Willem Lems, Leo Roorda, Willem Evert van Spil, Martin van der Esch

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OBJECTIVES: To investigate cartilage tissue turnover in response to a supervised 12-week exercise-related joint loading training program followed by a 6-month period of unsupervised training in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). To study the difference in cartilage tissue turnover between high- and low-resistance training. METHOD: Patients with knee OA were randomized into either high-intensity or low-intensity resistance supervised training (two sessions per week) for 3 months and unsupervised training for 6 months. Blood samples were collected before and after the supervised training period and after the follow-up period. Biomarkers huARGS, C2M, and PRO-C2, quantifying cartilage tissue turnover, were measured by ELISA. Changes in biomarker levels over time within and between groups were analyzed using linear mixed models with baseline values as covariates. RESULTS: huARGS and C2M levels increased after training and at follow-up in both low- and high-intensity exercise groups. No changes were found in PRO-C2. The huARGS level in the high-intensity resistance training group increased significantly compared to the low-intensity resistance training group after resistance training (p = 0.029) and at follow-up (p = 0.003). CONCLUSION: Cartilage tissue turnover and cartilage degradation appear to increase in response to a 3-month exercise-related joint loading training program and at 6-month follow-up, with no evident difference in type II collagen formation. Aggrecan remodeling increased more with high-intensity resistance training than with low-intensity exercise. These exploratory biomarker results, indicating more cartilage degeneration in the high-intensity group, in combination with no clinical outcome differences of the VIDEX study, may argue against high-intensity training.
Original languageEnglish
Article number22
Pages (from-to)22
JournalArthritis research & therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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