Objective—To determine the effects of sodium hyaluronate (HA) in combination with methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) on interleukin-1 (IL-1)–induced inflammation in equine articular cartilage pellets.
Sample Population—Chondrocytes collected from 7 horses euthanatized for problems unrelated to the musculoskeletal system.
Procedures—Chondrocyte pellets were treated with medium (negative control); medium containing IL-1 (positive control); or medium containing IL-1 with MPA only (0.05 or 0.5 mg/mL), HA only (0.2 or 2 mg/mL), or MPA (0.05 or 0.5 mg/mL) and HA (0.2 or 2 mg/mL) in combination. Proteoglycan (PG) synthesis was determined by incorporation of sulfur 35–labeled sodium sulfate into PGs. Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content of the media and the pellets and total pellet DNA content were determined.
Results—Methylprednisolone acetate at 0.5 mg/mL caused an increase in PG synthesis, whereas HA had no effect alone. The combination of MPA, both 0.05 mg/mL and 0.5 mg/mL, with HA at 2 mg/mL increased PG synthesis, compared with IL-1–treated control. All treatment groups containing the high concentration of MPA (0.5 mg/mL) and the high concentration of HA (2.0 mg/mL) had pellets with increased GAG content. The addition of HA caused an increase in total GAG content in the media, regardless of MPA treatment. Cyclooxygenase-2 mRNA and aggrecan mRNA expression was significantly reduced with MPA treatment. Total pellet DNA content was unchanged by any treatment.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Our results indicate that MPA in combination with HA has beneficial effects on PG metabolism of IL-1–treated equine chondrocytes.