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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Esculetin (dihydroxycoumarin) inhibits the production of matrix metalloproteinases in cartilage explants, and oral administration of its prodrug, CPA-926, suppresses cartilage destruction in rabbit experimental osteoarthritis.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the in vitro effects of 6,7-dihydroxycoumarin (esculetin) on the production of matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) in rabbit articular cartilage, and the in vivo effects of orally administered CPA-926, a prodrug of esculetin, on cartilage destruction in rabbit experimental osteoarthritis (OA). METHODS: In vitro studies were performed using rabbit articular cartilage explants. Esculetin 10-100 microM was added to cartilage explants in the presence or absence of interleukin 1alpha (IL-1alpha). Effects of esculetin on cartilage metabolism were assessed. Proteoglycan release into medium was determined by dye precipitation with 1,9-dimethylmethylene blue, synthesis of proMMP-1 (interstitial procollagenase) and proMMP-3 (prostromelysin 1) by Western blotting, and collagen degradation activity using FITC labeled collagen. In vivo experimental OA was induced in the knee joints of 15 Japanese adult white rabbits by partial lateral meniscectomy. Ten rabbits were orally administered 200 or 400 mg/kg/day of CPA-926 from the day of surgery for 14 days. The size of the macroscopic erosive area on the femoral condyle and tibial plateau was measured, and cartilage destruction was histologically evaluated. Collagenolytic activities in synovial fluid were measured using FITC labeled collagen as a substrate. RESULTS: In vitro, esculetin inhibited the IL-1alpha induced release of proteoglycan into the medium in a dose dependent manner. The collagenolytic activities in cartilage explant medium induced by IL-1alpha were also suppressed with the addition of 33-100 microM esculetin (p = 0.0209 at 33 and 100 microM, p = 0.0202 at 66 microM). Western blotting of cartilage explant medium showed a decrease in the levels of proMMP-1 and proMMP-3 in the medium by treatment with esculetin. In vivo: At 14 days after surgery, the femoral condyle and tibial plateau in the control group showed macroscopic erosions of cartilage. Compared with the control group, the rabbits treated with CPA-926 at the dose of 400 mg/kg exhibited reduction of the size of the erosive area on the tibial plateau (p = 0.009). Histological evaluation indicated protection against the development of destructive changes in the tibial plateau cartilage at a dose of 200 mg/kg (p = 0.0442) and 400 mg/kg (p = 0.0446) of CPA-926. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that esculetin inhibits matrix degradation in rabbit joint cartilage explants through the suppression of MMP synthesis, secretion, or activity. Prophylactic administration of its prodrug, CPA-926, appears to provide some protection against cartilage destruction in a short term rabbit experimental OA model.[1]


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