METHODS: In this study, we investigated the response of cartilage to the trauma sustained during extraction and determined the time needed for the cartilage to stabilize. Explants were extracted aseptically from bovine metacarpal-phalangeal joints and cultured for up to 17 days.
RESULTS: The cell viability, cell number, proteoglycan content, and collagen content of the harvested explants were analyzed at 0, 2, 10, and 17 days after explantation. A high percentage of the cartilage explants were found to be viable. The cell density initially increased significantly but stabilized after two days. The proteoglycan content decreased gradually over time, but it did not decrease to a significant level due to leakage through the distorted peripheral collagen network and into the bathing medium. The collagen content remained stable for most of the culture period until it dropped abruptly on day 17.
CONCLUSION: Overall, the tested cartilage explants were sustainable over long-term culture. They were most stable from day 2 to day 10. The degradation of the collagen on day 17 did not reach diseased levels, but it indicated the potential of the cultures to develop into degenerated cartilage. These findings have implications for the application of cartilage explants in pathophysiological fields.
METHODS: The proximal tibia was resected as a single osteochondral unit during total knee replacement from patients (N = 10). The osteoarthritic chondrocytes were isolated from the osteochondral units, and characterized using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. The isolated osteoarthritic chondrocytes were cultured and embedded in agarose, and then subjected to 10% and 20% uniaxial dynamic compression up to 8-days using a bioreactor. The morphological features and changes in the osteoarthritic chondrocytes upon compression were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. Safranin O was used to detect the presence of cartilage matrix proteoglycan expression while quantitative analysis was conducted by measuring type VI collagen using an immunohistochemistry and fluorescence intensity assay.
FINDINGS: Gene expression analysis indicated that the isolated osteoarthritic chondrocytes expressed chondrocyte-specific markers, including BGN, CD90 and HSPG-2. Moreover, the compressed osteoarthritic chondrocytes showed a more intense and broader deposition of proteoglycan and type VI collagen than control. The expression of type VI collagen was directly proportional to the duration of compression in which 8-days compression was significantly higher than 4-days compression. The 20% compression showed significantly higher intensity compared to 10% compression in 4- and 8-days.
INTERPRETATION: The biosynthetic activity of human chondrocytes from osteoarthritic joints can be enhanced using selected compression regimes.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: PA exerted selective cytotoxicity on human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) with IC(50) value of 6.91 ± 0.85 µM when compared to human normal fibroblast and normal liver epithelial cells. Assessment of the growth kinetics by cell impedance-based Real-Time Cell Analyzer showed that PA induced both cytotoxic and cytostatic effects on HUVECs, depending on the concentration used. Results also showed that PA suppressed VEGF-induced survival and proliferation of HUVECs. Furthermore, endothelial cell migration, invasion, and morphogenesis or tube formation demonstrated significant time- and dose-dependent inhibition by PA. PA also suppressed matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) secretion and attenuated its activation to intermediate and active MMP-2. In addition, PA suppressed F-actin stress fiber formation to prevent migration of the endothelial cells. More importantly, anti-angiogenic potential of PA was also evidenced in two in vivo models. PA inhibited neo-vessels formation in murine Matrigel plugs, and angiogenesis in zebrafish embryos.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Taken together, our study demonstrated the distinctive anti-angiogenic properties of PA, both in vitro and in vivo. This report thus reveals another biological activity of PA in addition to its reported anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities, suggestive of PA's potential for development as an anti-angiogenic agent for cancer therapy.
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