Sorbitol-modified hyaluronic acid reduces oxidative stress, apoptosis and mediators of inflammation and catabolism in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes

Sorbitol-modified hyaluronic acid reduces oxidative stress, apoptosis and mediators of inflammation and catabolism in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes

John-Max Mongkhon, Maryane Thach, Qin Shi, Julio C. Fernandes, Hassan Fahmi, Mohamed Benderdour 

Objective and design: Our study was designed to elucidate the precise molecular mechanisms by which sorbitol-modified hyaluronic acid (HA/sorbitol) exerts beneficial effects in osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: Human OA chondrocytes were treated with increasing doses of HA/sorbitol ± anti-CD44 antibody or with sorbitol alone and thereafter with or without interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) or hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Signal transduction pathways and parameters related to oxidative stress, apoptosis, inflammation, and catabolism were investigated.

Results: HA/sorbitol prevented IL-1β-induced oxidative stress, as measured by reactive oxygen species, p47-NADPH oxidase phosphorylation, 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE) production and HNE-metabolizing glutathione-S-transferase A4-4 expression. Moreover, HA/sorbitol stifled IL-1β-induced metalloproteinase-13, nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 release as well as inducible NO synthase expression. Study of the apoptosis process revealed that this gel significantly attenuated cell death, caspase-3 activation and DNA fragmentation elicited by exposure to a cytotoxic H2O2 dose. Examination of signaling pathway components disclosed that HA/sorbitol prevented IL-1β-induced p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase and nuclear factor-kappa B activation, but not that of extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2. Interestingly, the antioxidant as well as the anti-inflammatory and anti-catabolic effects of HA/sorbitol were attributed to sorbitol and HA, respectively.

Conclusions: Altogether, our findings support a beneficial effect of HA/sorbitol in OA through the restoration of redox status and reduction of apoptosis, inflammation and catabolism involved in cartilage damage