Figure 1: Relative expression of the genes mTOR (a), ULK1 (b), p21 (c), caspase 3 (d), and TNFα (e) with reference to β-actin determined by real-time PCR analyses in the whole blood of “Low mTOR subset” , “High mTOR subset” , and end-stage OA patients (set 1) compared with healthy controls . (f) A relationship between mTOR gene expression measured in the blood or articular cartilage from end-stage OA patients (, set 2). Controls are shown as 1.0 as required for relative quantification with the real-time PCR protocol. Asterisks () indicate significant differences from the control in pairwise comparisons (Student’s unpaired -test). Number signs () show significant differences in multigroup comparisons using two-way ANOVA followed by the Scheffe’s post-hoc test.