The common marmoset as a translational model of age-related osteoarthritis

Dennis M. Minton, Aditya R. Ailiani, Michael D.K. Focht, Mariana E. Kersh, Angela J. Marolf, Kelly S. Santangelo, Adam B. Salmon, Adam R. Konopka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Age-related osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease characterized by pathological changes in nearly every intra- and peri-articular tissue that contributes to disability in older adults. Studying the etiology of age-related OA in humans is difficult due to an unpredictable onset and insidious nature. A barrier in developing OA modifying therapies is the lack of translational models that replicate human joint anatomy and age-related OA progression. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the common marmoset is a faithful model of human age-related knee OA. Semi-quantitative microCT scoring revealed greater radiographic OA in geriatric versus adult marmosets, and the age-related increase in OA prevalence was similar between marmosets and humans. Quantitative assessments indicate greater medial tibial cortical and trabecular bone thickness and heterogeneity in geriatric versus adult marmosets which is consistent with an age-related increase in focal subchondral bone sclerosis. Additionally, marmosets displayed an age-associated increase in synovitis and calcification of the meniscus and patella. Histological OA pathology in the medial tibial plateau was greater in geriatric versus adult marmosets driven by articular cartilage damage, proteoglycan loss, and altered chondrocyte cellularity. The age-associated increase in medial tibial cartilage OA pathology and meniscal calcification was greater in female versus male geriatric marmosets. Overall, marmosets largely replicate human OA as evident by similar 1) cartilage and skeletal morphology, 2) age-related progression in OA pathology, and 3) sex differences in OA pathology with increasing age. Collectively, these data suggest that the common marmoset is a highly translatable model of the naturally occurring, age-related OA seen in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2827-2847
Number of pages21
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Bone
  • Cartilage
  • Knee
  • Meniscus
  • Naturally occurring osteoarthritis
  • Non-human primate
  • Patella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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