Inflammation plays a critical role in osteoarthritis (OA). It stimulates catabolic events in articular chondrocytes and prevents chondrogenic precursor cells from repairing cartilage lesions, leading to accelerated cartilage degradation. Therefore, the identification of novel factors that reduce catabolic events in chondrocytes and enhances chondrogenic differentiation of precursor cells in an inflammatory environment may provide novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of OA. The goal of this study was to determine whether a hyaluronan (HA)-binding peptide (P15-1), via interacting with high molecular weight (HMW)HA can enhance the anti-inflammatory properties of HMWHA and decrease catabolic events in interleukin-1beta (IL-1β)-treated human articular chondrocytes. Treatment with P15-1 decreased catabolic events and stimulated anabolic events in articular chondrocytes cultured in an inflammatory environment. P15-1 pre-mixed with HMWHA was more effective in inhibiting catabolic events and stimulating anabolic events than P15-1 or HMWHA alone. Our findings suggest that P15-1 together with HMWHA inhibits catabolic events in articular chondrocytes via the inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) and increasing the thickness of the pericellular matrix (PCM) around chondrocytes thereby decreasing catabolic signaling. Finally, conditioned medium from IL-1β and P15-1-treated human articular chondrocytes was less inhibitory for chondrogenic differentiation of precursor cells than conditioned medium from chondrocytes treated with IL-1β alone. In conclusion, P15-1 is proposed to function synergistically with HMWHA to enhance the protective microenvironment for chondrocytes and mesenchymal stem cells during inflammation and regeneration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas