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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Feb 4;327(1):320-7.

Triptolide suppresses proinflammatory cytokine-induced matrix metalloproteinase and aggrecanase-1 gene expression in chondrocytes.

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Department of Medicine, University of Montreal and CHUM Research Center, Notre-Dame Hospital, Montreal, Que., Canada H2L 4M1.


A hallmark of rheumatoid- and osteoarthritis (OA) is proinflammatory cytokine-induced degeneration of cartilage collagen and aggrecan by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and aggrecanases (ADAMTS). Effects of the Chinese herb, Tripterygium wilfordii Hook F (TWHF), on cartilage and its anti-arthritic mechanisms are poorly understood. This study investigated the impact of a purified derivative of TWHF, PG490 (triptolide), on cytokine-stimulated expression of the major cartilage damaging proteases, MMP-3, MMP-13, and ADAMTS4. PG490 inhibited cytokine-induced MMP-3, MMP-13 gene expression in primary human OA chondrocytes, bovine chondrocytes, SW1353 cells, and human synovial fibroblasts. Triptolide was effective at low doses and blocked the induction of MMP-13 by IL-1 in human and bovine cartilage explants. TWHF extract and PG490 also suppressed IL-1-, IL-17-, and TNF-alpha-induced expression of ADAMTS-4 in bovine chondrocytes. Thus, PG490 could protect cartilage from MMP- and aggrecanase-driven breakdown. The immunosuppressive, cartilage protective, and anti-inflammatory properties could make PG490 potentially a new therapeutic agent for arthritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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