Objective—To determine whether camel articular chondrocytes can be maintained in tissue culture without phenotype loss and whether the response to cytokine stimulation can be modulated.
Sample Population—Cartilage from 4 carpal joints of healthy adult dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius).
Procedures—Chondrocytes were evaluated for type II collagen and aggrecan production They were incubated with control media or with 2 test mixtures (alone and then in combination) that have anti-inflammatory activity (avocado-soybean unsaponifiables, glucosamine, and chondroitin sulfate [ie, ASU + GLU + CS] and pentosan polysulfate and N-acetyl glucosamine [ie, PPS + NG]). Cells were then stimulated with interleukin-1β and tumor necrosis factor-α to determine prostaglandin (PG) E2 production and nuclear factor (NF)-κB activation.
Results—Chondrocytes proliferated in media used for propagating equine chondrocytes; they produced type II collagen and aggrecan. Cytokine stimulation induced PGE2 production and translocation of NF-κB. Incubation with each test mixture significantly inhibited PGE2 production. The combination of ASU + GLU + CS and PPS + NG significantly potentiated PGE2 inhibition and disrupted NF-κB translocation, compared with effects for either mixture alone.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Chondrocytes proliferated without loss of the cartilage phenotype. Responses to cytokines were significantly inhibited by the mixtures of ASU + GLU + CS and PPS + NG, which indicated that this response can be modulated. This culture technique can be used to study the functional properties of camel chondrocytes and identify agents that may potentially be used to treat and manage joint inflammation.