Role of the Gut Microbiome in Osteoarthritis
The gut microbiome is composed of diverse microbial ecosystems that exist in the gastrointestinal tract that have endocrine and immunological functions. We have recently established that dysbiosis, a shift from a “normal” gut microbiome, is associated with musculoskeletal disease, particularly osteoarthritis. Our lab’s work to establish a link between gut flora and osteoarthritis has uncovered the potential to target the gut microbiome to address joint degenerative disease. Currently, we are pursuing a deep study of the gut-joint axis, and in the process, we have developed strategies with preclinical efficacy in sculpting the microbial community in a manner that delays joint degeneration. We are currently testing one such strategy in symptomatic early-stage osteoarthritis in a human clinical trial.