Objective - To evaluate the effects of glucosamine on equine articular chondrocytes and synoviocytes at concentrations clinically relevant to serum and synovial fluid concentrations. Sample Population - Articular cartilage and synovium with normal gross appearance from metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints of 8 horses (1 to 10 years of age). Procedures - In vitro chondrocyte and synoviocyte cell cultures from 8 horses were treated with glucosamine (0.1 to 20 2mg/mL) with or without interleukin-1 (IL-1; 10 ng/mL) for 48 hours. Negative control cultures received no glucosamine or IL-1, and positive control cultures received only IL-1. Cultures were assayed for production of proteoglycan (via media containing sulfur 35 (35S)-labeled sodium sulfate and Alcian blue precipitation), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2; via a colorimetric assay), cyclooxygenase-2 (via real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR assay), microsomal PGE2 synthase (mPGEs; via real-time reverse-transcriptase PCR assay), and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 (via a colorimetric assay). Results - Glucosamine had no impact on proteoglycan production or MMP-13 production under noninflammatory (no IL-1) or inflammatory (with IL-1) conditions. Glucosamine at 0.1 and 0.5 μg/mL significantly decreased IL-1-stimulated production of mPGEs by chondrocytes, compared with that of positive control chondrocytes. Glucosamine at 0.1 and 5 μg/mL significantly decreased IL-1-stimulated production of mPGEs and PGE2, respectively, compared with that of positive control synoviocytes. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - Glucosamine had limited effects on chondrocyte and synoviocyte metabolism at clinically relevant concentrations, although it did have some anti-inflammatory activity on IL-1-stimulated articular cells. Glucosamine may have use at clinically relevant concentrations in the treatment of inflammatory joint disease.
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