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Scientists identify 18 human proteins that are modulated by chondroitin sulfate, thus confirming its pharmacological properties against osteoarthritis

8 Oct 2012

This novel, in vitro study, has been published by the leading scientific journal Arthritis Research and Therapy, and demonstrates that chondroitin sulfate reduces inflammation, prevents the uncontrolled growth of new blood vessels and blocks the destruction of cartilage cells that affect osteoarthritis patients. These findings contribute further evidence to demonstrate the clinical efficacy of chondroitin sulfate in osteoarthritis, and open the way to the development of new theraupeutic targets.

Barcelona, October 8, 2012. A study conducted by a research team
from the Bioibérica Chair in Tissue Engineering and Cell therapy at the
Universidad de A Coruña has identified 18 proteins that are meaningfully
modulated by chondroitin sulfate (CS).

 This paper, entitled “Secretome
analysis of chondroitin sulfate-treated chondrocytes reveals its
anti-inflamatori and anti-catabolic properties", has been recently published by
the leading scientific journal Arthritis Research & Therapy (impact
factor: 4.45). Research has been led by Professor Francisco Blanco, scientific
director of the Instituto de Salud Carlos III at the Universidad de A Coruña,
and by Dr. Josep Vergés, clinical pharmacologist and Medical and scientific
director at Bioibérica Farma.

 This paper consists of a
proteomics analysis of the secretome of human cartilage cells (chondrocites).
In other words, they studied the effect of chondroitin sulfate on the proteins that
were secreted or expelled from chondrocite cells. According to professor
Blanco, “most previous studies analyzed single proteins-they did not focused on
the effect of CS on the entire cells’ proteome. By using proteomics we have
been able to simultaneously follow changes taking place in multiple proteins”.

 They were able to reproduce in
the effects of osteoarthritis through stimulation of healthy
chondrocites by means of an inflammatory molecule (IL-1ß). After exposing these
inflamed cartilage cells to CS, the scientists used proteomics technology to
identify 18 proteins modulated by that drug in a statistically significant way.
Some of these proteins are involved in inflammatory, angiogenesis (uncontrolled
formation of new blood vessels) and catabolic (cell disposal) processes-therefore,
they are associated with the onset and development of osteoarthritis.

 “These are meaningful results”,
pointed out Dr. Vergés, “because they have proved that chondroitin sulfate reduces
the levels of these proteins, thus confirming its pharmacological activity
against osteoarthritis”. Moreover, according to professor Blanco, “the evidences
of the anti angiogenic properties of chondroitin sulfate open the way to new
therapeutic targets in osteoarthritis”.