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Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2010 Jun;18 Suppl 1:S24-7. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2010.01.016. Epub 2010 Apr 24.

Antioxidant, antiinflammatory and neuroprotective actions of chondroitin sulfate and proteoglycans.

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Instituto Teófilo Hernando, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


The antiinflammatory and antiapoptotic effects of chondroitin sulfate (CS) are being used to treat osteoarthritis. Recent evidence has revealed that those peripheral effects of CS may also have therapeutic interest in diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). We review here such evidence. Perineuronal nets (PNNs) formed by chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) may have a neuroprotective action against oxidative stress potentially involved in neurodegeneration. On the other hand, in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells CS has antioxidant and neuroprotective effects by activating the signaling pathway PKC/PI3K/Akt and inducing the antioxidant enzyme hemoxygenase-1. Consistent with this is the observation that protein kinase C (PKC) blockade overcomes inhibition of neurite outgrowth elicited by CSPGs. In addition, CS protects cortical neurons against excytotoxic death by phosphorylation of intracellular signals and the suppression of caspase-3 activation. Of interest is the finding that a disaccharide derived from CSPG degradation (CSGP-DS) protects neurons against toxicity both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, CSGP-DS efficiently protects against neuronal loss in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and uveitis, decreases secretion of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and block necrosis factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) translocation. In conclusion, CS may have neuroprotective properties linked to its antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects.

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