Glucosamine HCl reduces equine articular cartilage degradation in explant culture

J. I. Fenton, K. A. Chlebek-Brown, T. L. Peters, J. P. Caron, M. W. Orth

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Objective: To determine whether glucosamine inhibits experimentally induced degradation of equine articular cartilage explants. Methods: Articular cartilage was obtained from the antebrachio-carpal and middle joints of horses (2-8 years old) killed for reasons unrelated to lameness. Cartilage discs were harvested from the weight-bearing region of the articular surface and cultured. Media were exchanged daily and the recovered media stored at 4°C. Explants were maintained in basal media 2 days prior to the start of four treatment days. On days 1-4 lipopolysaccharide (LPS, 10 μg/ml) or recombinant human interleukin-1 (rhlL-1, 50 ng/ml) were added to induce cartilage degradation. To test the potential protective effects of glucosamine, the compound was added in three concentrations (0.25, 2.5, or 25 mg/ml) and treatments were performed in triplicate. Controls included wells without LPS, rhlL-1β, or glucosamine. Nitric oxide, proteoglycan and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) released into conditioned media and tissue proteoglycan synthesis were measured as indicators of cartilage metabolism. Results: Maximal nitric oxide production, proteoglycan release, and MMP activity were detected 1 day after the addition of LPS or rhlL-1β to the media. The addition of 25 mg/ml of glucosamine prevented the increase in nitric oxide production, proteoglycan release and MMP activity induced by LPS or rhlL-1. Conclusions: These data indicate that glucosamine can prevent experimentally induced cartilage degradation in vitro. (C) 2000 OsteoArthritis Research Society International.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)258-265
Number of pages8
JournalOsteoarthritis and Cartilage
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Articular cartilage
  • Equine
  • Glucosamine
  • Osteoarthritis


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