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Exp Ther Med. 2019 Sep;18(3):1677-1684. doi: 10.3892/etm.2019.7745. Epub 2019 Jul 8.

7,8-Dihydroxyflavone activates Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathways and protects against osteoarthritis.

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Department of Orthopaedics, Sir Run Run Hospital, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 211166, P.R. China.
Department of Gastroenterology, Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing University of Chinese Medicine, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210029, P.R. China.
Department of Orthopaedics, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, Jiangsu 210011, P.R. China.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of 7,8-dihydroxyflavone (7,8-DHF) against osteoarthritis (OA) and examine its regulatory role in the nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) signaling pathway in chondrocytes. Primary mouse chondrocytes were treated with 7,8-DHF to examine the expression of Nrf2 and downstream heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1). The surgical destabilization of the medial meniscus model was used to assess the effectiveness of 7,8-DHF in protecting the cartilage from damage, with knee cartilage harvested from mice for histological analysis. The results revealed that 7,8-DHF activated the Nrf2 signaling pathway in primary chondrocytes. Cartilage degradation in the 7,8-DHF-treated group was reduced significantly compared with that in the vehicle-treated group, according to histological evaluation. The gene expression of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)1, MMP3, MMP13, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor-α were reduced in the cartilage of OA mice following 7,8-DHF treatment. Genetic and protein analyses indicated that the expression levels of HO-1 were upregulated in the cartilage of the knee with OA, and 7,8-DHF treatment further promoted the induction of HO-1. These results suggest that 7,8-DHF may serve as a potential therapeutic agent in OA.


7,8-dihydroxyflavone; chondrocytes; heme oxygenase-1; nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2; osteoarthritis

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