MATERIALS AND METHODS: Chondrocyte/agarose constructs were treated with varying concentrations of TNFα (0.1-100 ng/ml) and cultured at 5 and 21 % oxygen tension for 48 h. In separate experiments, constructs were subjected to dynamic compression (15 %) and treated with TNFα (10 ng/ml) and/or L-NIO (1 mM) at 5 and 21 % oxygen tension using an ex vivo bioreactor for 48 h. Markers for catabolic activity (NO, PGE2) and tissue remodelling (GAG, MMPs) were quantified by biochemical assay. ADAMTS-5 and MMP-13 expression were examined by real-time qPCR. 2-way ANOVA and a post hoc Bonferroni-corrected t test were used to analyse data.
RESULTS: TNFα dose-dependently increased NO, PGE2 and MMP activity (all p
METHOD: A strain comprising 10% direct compression and 1% compressive shear was applied to bovine chondrocytes seeded in an agarose gel during two 12-hour conditioning periods separated by a 12-hour resting period.
RESULTS: The bi-axial-loaded chondrocytes demonstrated a significant increase in glycosaminoglycan synthesis compared with samples exposed to uni-axial or no loading over the same period (p<0.05). The use of a free-swelling recovery period prior to the loading regime resulted in additional glycosaminoglycan production and a significant increase in DNA content (p<0.05), indicating cell proliferation.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that the use of a bi-axial loading regime results in increased matrix production compared with uni-axial loading.