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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007 Jun;4(2):219-24. Epub 2006 Dec 1.

Collagen Synthesis in tenocytes, ligament cells and chondrocytes exposed to a combination of Glucosamine HCl and chondroitin sulfate.

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Nutramax Laboratories Edgewood, MD 21040, USA.


Clinical testing of the nutraceuticals glucosamine (glcN) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) has shown efficacy in providing relief from symptoms in osteoarthritic patients. In vitro and in vivo studies support existence of a synergistic relationship upregulating synthetic activity in chondrocytes. A combination of glcN and CS may also be useful as adjunct therapy in sports-related injuries if similar upregulation of collagen synthesis is elicited in accessory ligament and tendon joint tissue. Collagen and non-collagenous protein (NCP) synthesis in cultures of bovine tenocytes, ligament cells and chondrocytes exposed to glcN + CS were assayed by uptake of radiolabeled proline into collagenase-sensitive material. Assay of radiolabel in hydroxyproline (a specific marker for collagen synthesis) following HPLC isolation confirmed the specificity of the metabolic effect. Synthesis of total collagenase-sensitive material was maximally upregulated at physiologically obtainable doses of glcN + CS. Tissue response followed the sequence ligament cells (+69%) > chondrocytes (+56%) > tenocytes (+22%). Labeled hydroxyproline increased by 132% in ligament cells, 27% in tenocytes and 49% in epitendon cells after a 48 h exposure to 5 mug ml(-1) glcN + 4 mug ml(-1) CS. Low dose combinations of glcN and CS effectively stimulate in vitro collagen and NCP synthesis by ligament cells, tenocytes and chondrocytes. Hence, therapeutic use following accessory joint tissue trauma may help augment repair processes.

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