A partially purified porcine synovial catabolin interleukin 1 (CF) preparation was injected intra-articularly into rabbit stifle (knee) joints. Radiolabelled CF was rapidly cleared from the joint (0.4 h). Repeated injections of CF caused a marked loss of articular cartilage glycosaminoglycan (GAG) and a great increase in synovial fluid GAG. 35SO4 uptake was inhibited. Time course experiments after a single injection produced similar loss of GAG from knee cartilages, which was maximal three days after injection. The above changes were significantly less with heat inactivated preparations. Loss of articular cartilage metachromasia was found histologically, and an acute synovitis occurred together with lymphocytic foci and plasma cell infiltration.
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