Aggrecan degradation in chondrocytes is mediated by reactive oxygen species and protected by antioxidants

Author

Tiku ML, Gupta S, Deshmukh DR

Date

5/1999

Journal

Free Radic Res

Abstract

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are implicated in aging of cartilage and in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. However, the biological role of chondrocytes-derived ROS has not been elucidated. An in-vitro model was developed to study the role of chondrocyte-derived ROS in cartilage matrix degradation. The primary articular chondrocytes were cultured and the aggrecan matrix was radiolabeled with 35-sulfate. The labeled aggrecan matrix was washed to remove unincorporated label and chondrocytes were returned to serum free balanced salt solution. The cell-monolayer-matrix sensitivity to oxidative damage due to either hydrogen peroxide or glucose oxidase was established by monitoring the release of labeled aggrecan into the medium. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment of chondrocyte-monolayer enhanced the release of labeled aggrecan. Catalase significantly prevented the release of labeled aggrecan in LPS-chondrocyte cultures, suggesting a role for chondrocyte-derived hydrogen peroxide in aggrecan degradation. Superoxide dismutase or boiled catalase had no such inhibitory effect. The effect of several antioxidants on LPS-chondrocyte-dependent aggrecan degradation was examined. Hydroxyl radical scavengers (mannitol and thiourea) significantly decreased aggrecan degradation. A spin trapping agent N-tert-butyl-phenylnitrone (but not its inactive analog tert-butyl-phenylcarbonate) significantly decreased aggrecan degradation. Butylated hydroxytoluene also inhibited aggrecan degradation, whereas the other lipophilic antioxidant tested, propyl gallate, had a marked dose-dependent inhibitory effect. These data indicate that general antioxidants, hydroxyl radical scavengers, antioxidant vitamins, iron chelating agents, lipophilic antioxidants, and spin trapping agents can influence chondrocyte-dependent aggrecan degradation. These studies support the role of a chondrocyte-dependent oxidative mechanism in aggrecan degradation and indicate that antioxidants can prevent matrix degradation and therefore may have a preventive or therapeutic value in arthritis. The enhancement of oxidative activity in chondrocytes and its damaging effect on matrix may be an important mechanism of matrix degradation in osteoarthritis.