To assess whether the combination of hyaluronan, sodium chondroitin sul-fate, and N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (HCSG) lubricates articular cartilage in vitro and modulates joint lubrication in vivo.
16 healthy adult horses.
The effects of HCSG injections on SF lubricant properties and joint health, immediately after injury and 2 weeks later, were analyzed by use an equine osteochondral fracture model of post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA). Middle carpal joints of adult horses were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 surgical treatment groups as follows: normal nonsurgical group (n = 8), normal sham-surgical group (8), OA-induced surgical group with HCSG injection (8), or OA-induced surgical group with saline (0.9% NaCl) solution injection (8). Synovial fluid was aspirated periodically and analyzed for boundary lubrication function and lubricant molecules. At 17 days, joints were screened for gross pathological changes.
Induction of OA led to an impairment of SF lubrication function and diminished hyaluronan concentration in a time-dependent manner following surgery, with HCSG injection lessening these effects. Certain friction coefficients approached those of unaffected normal equine SF. Induction of OA also caused synovial hemorrhage at 17 days, which was lower in joints treated with HCSG.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
After induction of OA, equine SF lubricant function was impaired. Hyaluronan-sodium chondroitin sulfate–N-acetyl-d-glucosamine injection restored lubricant properties at certain time points and reduced pathological joint changes.