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Diosmetin ameliorates osteoarthritic inflammation in vivo and ECM macromolecules degradation in interleukin-1β-stimulated murine chondrocytes through the Nrf2/NF-κB pathway

Liang Qian1, Chuang Li1, Hong Liu1, Hui Zhou1, Tao Tan2


Introduction. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevailing degenerative disease in elderly population and can lead to severe joint dysfunction. Studies have revealed various pharmacological activities of diosmetin, including the anti-OA efficacy. The present study further investigated its effect on interleukin (IL)-1β-induced OA in chondrocytes.

Material and methods. Primary chondrocytes were isolated from young mice, stimulated with IL-1β (10 ng/mL), and pretreated with diosmetin (10 and 20 μM) to conduct the in vitro assays. CCK-8 assay assessed the cytotoxicity of diosmetin whereas the levels of inflammatory factors (PGE2, nitrite, TNF-α, and IL-6) in homogenized cells were evaluated by ELISA. The levels of inflammatory cytokines, content of extracellular matrix (ECM), and signaling-related proteins (Nrf2, HO-1, and NF-κB p65) were assessed by western blotting. Expression of collagen II, p65, and Nrf2 in the chondrocytes was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining. The chondrocytes treated with IL-1β and diosmetin were transfected with Nrf2 knockdown plasmid (si-Nrf2) to investigate the role of Nrf2. In vivo OA mouse model was induced by surgically destabilizing the medial meniscus (DMM). Safranin O staining was conducted to assess the OA severity in the knee-joint tissue.

Results. Diosmetin suppressed the expression of iNOS, COX-2, PGE2, nitrite, TNF-α, IL-6, MMP-13, and ADAMTS-5 induced by IL-1β in chondrocytes. The expression of p-p65, p-IκBα, and nuclear p65 was decreased whereas that of Nrf2 and HO-1 increased by diosmetin treatment in IL-1β-treated chondrocytes. Nrf2 knockdown by siRNA reversed the inhibitory effect of diosmetin on IL-1β-induced degradation of ECM proteins and inflammatory factors in cultured chondrocytes. In the DMM-induced model of OA, diosmetin alleviated cartilage degeneration and decreased the Osteoarthritis Research Society International score.

Conclusions. Diosmetin ameliorates expression of inflammation biomarkers and ECM macromolecules degradation in cultured murine chondrocytes via inactivation of NF-κB signaling by activating Nrf2/HO-1 signaling pathway.

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