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BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2013 Aug 1;14:228. doi: 10.1186/1471-2474-14-228.

Low dose native type II collagen prevents pain in a rat osteoarthritis model.



Osteoarthritis is the most widespread joint-affecting disease. Patients with osteoarthritis experience pain and impaired mobility resulting in marked reduction of quality of life. A progressive cartilage loss is responsible of an evolving disease difficult to treat. The characteristic of chronicity determines the need of new active disease modifying drugs. Aim of the present research is to evaluate the role of low doses of native type II collagen in the rat model of osteoarthritis induced by sodium monoiodoacetate (MIA).


1, 3 and 10 mg kg-1 porcine native type II collagen were daily per os administered for 13 days starting from the day of MIA intra-articular injection.


On day 14, collagen-treated rats showed a significant prevention of pain threshold alterations induced by MIA. Evaluation were performed on paws using mechanical noxious (Paw pressure test) or non-noxious (Electronic Von Frey test) stimuli, and a decrease of articular pain was directly measured on the damaged joint (PAM test). The efficacy of collagen in reducing pain was as higher as the dose was lowered. Moreover, a reduced postural unbalance, measured as hind limb weight bearing alterations (Incapacitance test), and a general improvement of motor activity (Animex test) were observed. Finally, the decrease of plasma and urine levels of CTX-II (Cross Linked C-Telopeptide of Type II Collagen), a biomarker of cartilage degradation, suggests a collagen-dependent decrease of structural joint damage.


These results describe the preclinical efficacy of low dosages of native type II collagen as pain reliever by a mechanism that involves a protective effect on cartilage.

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