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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1998 Oct 20;251(2):580-5.

Dynamic mechanical compression influences nitric oxide production by articular chondrocytes seeded in agarose.

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IRC in Biomedical Materials, Institute of Orthopaedics, University College London Medical School, Brockley Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP, United Kingdom.


Nitric oxide (NO) has been implicated in the inhibition of cell proliferation in cytokine and lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated chondrocytes and is known to be influenced by physical forces in several tissues. In this study, a well-characterized model system utilizing bovine chondrocytes embedded in 3% agarose constructs has been used to investigate the effect of dynamic strain at 0.3, 1, or 3 Hz on NO production. LPS induced a significant increase in nitrite levels, which was reversed by both L-NAME and dexamethasone. Dynamic compressive strain produced a significant reduction in nitrite production. The effect was partially blocked by L-NAME but unaffected by dexamethasone. L-NAME also reversed dynamic compression-induced stimulation of [3H]-thymidine incorporation. NO appears to be a constituent of mechanotransduction pathways which influence proliferation of bovine chondrocytes seeded within agarose constructs. The inhibitor experiments also infer that alterations in cNOS activity primarily determine the response.

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