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Synthesis and release of human cartilage matrix proteoglycans are differently regulated by nitric oxide and prostaglandin-E2
  1. Simon C Mastbergen (s.mastbergen{at}
  1. UMC Utrecht, Netherlands
    1. Johannes WJ Bijlsma (j.w.j.bijlsma{at}
    1. UMC Utrecht, Netherlands
      1. Floris PJG Lafeber (f.lafeber{at}
      1. UMC Utrecht, Netherlands


        Objectives: Recent studies showed beneficial effects of COX-2 inhibition on proteoglycan turnover of both IL-β/TNFα damaged cartilage and of osteoarthritic cartilage. Although proteoglycan release and content normalized, proteoglycan synthesis was only partially influenced. Prostaglandin-E2 is the main product formed by COX-2. We therefore evaluate the role of prostaglandin-E2 in relation to nitric oxide in disturbing cartilage proteoglycan turnover.

        Methods: Human healthy cartilage, alone or in the presence of IL-β;+TNFα, was cultured for 7 days with or without prostaglandin-E2 or the selective COX-2 inhibitor (celecoxib 10μM). Changes in cartilage matrix proteoglycan turnover, levels of prostaglandin-E2 and nitric oxide were determined.

        Results: Proteoglycan synthesis and release of the cartilage were not affected by prostaglandin-E2 alone. Addition of IL-β+TNFα to healthy cartilage resulted in inhibition of proteoglycan synthesis and increase in proteoglycan release. When prostaglandin-E2 was added, in addition to IL-β+TNFα, proteoglycan release further increased, but proteoglycan synthesis was not further influenced. Addition of a selective COX-2 inhibitor to the IL-β+TNFα treated cartilage inhibited the enhanced prostaglandin-E2 production and almost complete normalized proteoglycan release, whereas synthesis remained unaffected. Also the enhanced NO-levels remained elevated. Prostaglandin-E2 levels correlated significantly with proteoglycan release whereas NO levels correlated significantly with proteoglycan synthesis.

        Conclusion: The present results suggest involvement of prostaglandin-E2 in enhanced cartilage proteoglycan release but not synthesis, although healthy cartilage has to be sensitized by IL-β+TNFα. IL-1£]+TNFα induced NO seems to be involved in inhibition of proteoglycan synthesis, independent of prostaglandin-E2 and thus seems insensitive to regulation by (selective) COX-2 inhibitors.

        • COX-2
        • human cartilage tissue
        • prostaglandin-E2
        • proteoglycan turnover

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