A pinboard by
Kok-Yong Chin

Junior Lecturer, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


Osteoarthritis is a major cause of morbidity among the elderly. Current therapies for osteoarthritis are mainly palliative. Since it is a localized joint inflammatory disease, we purpose that tocotrienol, a family of vitamin E with potent antiinflammatory effects, will be effective in preventing osteoarthritis. We supplement rats induced with knee osteoarthritis and assess the changes in the cartilage and subchondral bone. We also determine the effects of the intervention on synovial inflammation. We hope that this study will promote the use of tocotrienol as an innovative approach to treat osteoarthritis and subsequently reduce the healthcare burden of this disease.


The spice for joint inflammation: anti-inflammatory role of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis.

Abstract: Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease of the joint affecting aging populations worldwide. It has an underlying inflammatory cause, which contributes to the loss of chondrocytes, leading to diminished cartilage layer at the affected joints. Compounds with anti-inflammatory properties are potential treatment agents for osteoarthritis. Curcumin derived from Curcuma species is an anti-inflammatory compound as such. This review aims to summarize the antiosteoarthritic effects of curcumin derived from clinical and preclinical studies. Many clinical trials have been conducted to determine the effectiveness of curcumin in osteoarthritic patients. Extracts of Curcuma species, curcuminoids and enhanced curcumin, were used in these studies. Patients with osteoarthritis showed improvement in pain, physical function, and quality of life after taking curcumin. They also reported reduced concomitant usage of analgesics and side effects during treatment. In vitro studies demonstrated that curcumin could prevent the apoptosis of chondrocytes, suppress the release of proteoglycans and metal metalloproteases and expression of cyclooxygenase, prostaglandin E-2, and inflammatory cytokines in chondrocytes. These were achieved by blocking the activation of nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) system in the chondrocytes, by preventing the activation of nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B-cells inhibitor, alpha, phosphorylation, and translocation of the p65 subunit of NF-κB complexes into the nucleus. In conclusion, curcumin is a potential candidate for the treatment of osteoarthritis. More well-planned randomized control trials and enhanced curcumin formulation are required to justify the use of curcumin in treating osteoarthritis.

Pub.: 06 Oct '16, Pinned: 17 Aug '17

Bone degeneration, Inflammation and Secondary complications of Arthritis: Potential Targets and their Natural inhibitors.

Abstract: Arthritis is marked with joint deterioration that affects articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Though cartilage degradation is a major damage during arthritis, the subsequent bone loss cannot be neglected. Progress in the arthritis research has identified clinical importance of bone erosion in destructive arthritis. Studies have showed the key role played by osteoclasts and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappaB ligand (RANKL) signaling in bone erosion. Cathepsins and tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) are considered key enzymatic factors contributing to bone erosion. Further, reactive oxygen species (ROS) formed at the ruffled border of osteoclasts also causes bone resorption and matrix degradation. Besides, severe inflammation during arthritis induces bone erosion by aiding in Ca2+ removal and activating osteoclastogenesis. The inflammatory cytokines and ROS influence osteoclast differentiation by regulating osteoclast-lineage cells or by acting on other cells to regulate the expression of RANKL and osteoprotegerin (OPG). The enhanced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and ROS in arthritis will stimulate tissue injury by means of oxidative damage leading to vital organ damage and synovial and circulatory cell apoptosis. Thus, blocking enzymatic and non-enzymatic factors responsible for bone erosion and inflammation is considered a prime target in the management of arthritis. In this review we provide an overview of the mechanisms of bone erosion, inflammation and associated oxidative stress/damage during arthritis perpetuation along with shedding light on potential targets. The article also describes the possible therapeutic agents that could prevent bone loss and inflammation, and related secondary complications of arthritis.

Pub.: 18 Mar '17, Pinned: 17 Aug '17

Enhanced SOCS3 in osteoarthiritis may limit both proliferation and inflammation.

Abstract: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by localized inflammatory and secondary proliferative changes. Suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) is elevated during OA development. We investigated the effects of this protein on human chondrocyte survival in OA and the inflammatory response together with the mechanisms of these effects. Small interfering RNA (siRNA) was used to knock down the expression of SOCS3 in interleukin(IL)-1β-induced primary human osteoarthritic chondrocytes. We found that siRNA-mediated SOCS3 knock-down in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes increased production of IL-1β-induced prostaglandin E2, cell growth, transcript level and nuclear translocation of cyclin D1. Silencing of SOCS3 resulted in altered expression of nuclear factor-kappa-B (NF-κB) and cyclooxygenase (COX2). Our findings indicate that enhanced SOCS3 could have contradictory influences on OA development. SOCS3 might protect damaged joints by its anti-inflammatory effect and by inhibition of over-augmented cartilage tissue repair, which could exhibit inhibitory properties for joint inflammation, abnormal chondrocyte clustering and osteophyte formation in OA. On the other hand, SOCS3 might reduce chondrocyte growth response, which would delay repair of subchondral cancellous bone damage in OA owing to its anti-proliferation effect. The anti-inflammation and growth inhibition effects exhibited by enhanced SOCS3 in OA appear to be related to its capacity to down-regulate expression levels of NF-κB and COX2.

Pub.: 16 Mar '17, Pinned: 17 Aug '17

Recent developments in emerging therapeutic targets of osteoarthritis.

Abstract: Despite the tremendous individual suffering and socioeconomic burden caused by osteoarthritis, there are currently no effective disease-modifying treatment options. This is in part because of our incomplete understanding of osteoarthritis disease mechanism. This review summarizes recent developments in therapeutic targets identified from surgical animal models of osteoarthritis that provide novel insight into osteoarthritis pathology and possess potential for progression into preclinical studies.Several candidate pathways and processes that have been identified include chondrocyte autophagy, growth factor signaling, inflammation, and nociceptive signaling. Major strategies that possess therapeutic potential at the cellular level include inhibiting autophagy suppression and decreasing reactive oxygen species (ROS) production. Cartilage anabolism and prevention of cartilage degradation has been shown to result from growth factor signaling modulation, such as TGF-β, TGF-α, and FGF; however, the results are context-dependent and require further investigation. Pain assessment studies in rodent surgical models have demonstrated potential in employing anti-NGF strategies for minimizing osteoarthritis-associated pain.Studies of potential therapeutic targets in osteoarthritis using animal surgical models are helping to elucidate osteoarthritis pathology and propel therapeutics development. Further studies should continue to elucidate pathological mechanisms and therapeutic targets in various joint tissues to improve overall joint health.

Pub.: 03 Dec '16, Pinned: 17 Aug '17

Physiological concentrations of soluble uric acid are chondroprotective and anti-inflammatory.

Abstract: High uric acid levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disorders and gout; however, the role of physiological concentrations of soluble uric acid (sUA) is poorly understood. This study aimed to clarify the effects of sUA in joint inflammation. Both cell cultures of primary porcine chondrocytes and mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were examined. We showed that sUA inhibited TNF-α- and interleukin (IL)-1β-induced inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase-2 and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13 expression. Examination of the mRNA expression of several MMPs and aggrecanases confirmed that sUA exerts chondroprotective effects by inhibiting the activity of many chondro-destructive enzymes. These effects attenuated collagen II loss in chondrocytes and reduced proteoglycan degradation in cartilage explants. These results were reproduced in chondrocytes cultured in three-dimensional (3-D) alginate beads. Molecular studies revealed that sUA inhibited the ERK/AP-1 signalling pathway, but not the IκBα-NF-κB signalling pathway. Increases in plasma uric acid levels facilitated by the provision of oxonic acid, a uricase inhibitor, to CIA mice exerted both anti-inflammatory and arthroprotective effects in these animals, as demonstrated by their arthritis severity scores and immunohistochemical analysis results. Our study demonstrated that physiological concentrations of sUA displayed anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects both in vitro and in vivo.

Pub.: 26 May '17, Pinned: 17 Aug '17

p-Coumaric acid, a dietary polyphenol ameliorates inflammation and curtails cartilage and bone erosion in the rheumatoid arthritis rat model.

Abstract: This study was designed to explore the underlying mechanism of p-coumaric acid (CA), a dietary polyphenol in adjuvant-induced arthritis (AIA) rat model with reference to synovitis and osteoclastogenesis. Celecoxib (COX-2 selective inhibitor) (5 mg/kg b.wt) was used as a reference drug. CA remarkably suppressed the paw edema, body weight loss and inflammatory cytokine and chemokine levels (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and MCP-1) in serum and ankle joint of arthritic rats. Consistently, CA reduced the expression of osteoclastogenic factors (RANKL and TRAP), pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-17), and inflammatory enzymes (iNOS and COX-2) in arthritic rats. However, OPG expression was found elevated. Besides, the abundance of transcription factors (NF-κB-p65, and p-NF-κB-p65, NFATc-1, and c-Fos) and MAP kinases (JNK, p-JNK, and ERK1/2) expression was alleviated in CA administered arthritic rats. In addition, CA truncated osteoclastogenesis by regulating the RANKL/OPG imbalance in arthritic rats and suppressing the RANKL-induced NFATc-1 and c-Fos expression in vitro. Radiological (CT and DEXA scan) and histological assessments authenticated that CA inhibited TRAP, bone destruction and cartilage degradation in association with enhanced bone mineral density. Taken together, our findings suggest that CA demonstrated promising anti-arthritic effect and could prove useful as an alternative drug in RA therapeutics. © 2017 BioFactors, 2017.

Pub.: 26 Jul '17, Pinned: 17 Aug '17