Monosodium urate crystal induced macrophage inflammation is attenuated by chondroitin sulphate: pre-clinical model for gout prophylaxis?

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Chondroitin Sulphate (CS), a natural glycosaminoglycan of the extracellular matrix, has clinical benefit in symptomatic osteoarthritis but has never been tested in gout. In vitro, CS has anti-inflammatory and positive effects on osteoarthritic chondrocytes, synoviocytes and subchondral bone osteoblasts, but its effect on macrophages is unknown. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the in vitro effects of CS on monosodium urate (MSU)-stimulated cytokine production by macrophages.THP-1 monocytes were differentiated into mature macrophages using a phorbol ester, pretreated for 4 hours with CS in a physiologically achievable range of concentrations (10-200 μg/ml) followed by MSU crystal stimulation for 24 hours. Cell culture media were analyzed by immunoassay for factors known to be upregulated during gouty inflammation including IL-1β, IL-8 and TNFα. The specificity of inflammasome activation by MSU crystals was tested with a caspase-1 inhibitor (0.01 μM-10 μM).MSU crystals ≥10 mg/dl increased macrophage production of IL-1β, IL-8 and TNFα a mean 7-, 3- and 4-fold respectively. Induction of IL-1β by MSU was fully inhibited by a caspase-1 inhibitor confirming inflammasome activation as the mechanism for generating this cytokine. In a dose-dependent manner, CS significantly inhibited IL-1β (p = 0.003), and TNFα (p = 0.02) production from macrophages in response to MSU. A similar trend was observed for IL-8 but was not statistically significant (p = 0.41).CS attenuated MSU crystal induced macrophage inflammation, suggesting a possible role for CS in gout prophylaxis.





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Orlowsky, Eric W, Thomas V Stabler, Eulàlia Montell, Josep Vergés and Virginia Byers Kraus (2014). Monosodium urate crystal induced macrophage inflammation is attenuated by chondroitin sulphate: pre-clinical model for gout prophylaxis?. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 15(1). p. 318. 10.1186/1471-2474-15-318 Retrieved from

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Virginia Byers Kraus

Mary Bernheim Distinguished Professor of Medicine

Virginia Byers Kraus, MD, PhD, is the Mary Bernheim Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery, Professor of Pathology and a faculty member of the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute in the Duke University School of Medicine. She is a practicing Rheumatologist with over 30 years’ experience in translational musculoskeletal research focusing on osteoarthritis, the most common of all arthritides. She trained at Brown University (ScB 1979), Duke University (MD 1982, PhD 1993) and the Duke University School of Medicine (Residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Rheumatology). Her career has focused on elucidating osteoarthritis pathogenesis and translational research into the discovery and validation of biomarkers for early osteoarthritis detection, prediction of progression, monitoring of disease status, and facilitation of therapeutic developments. She is co-PI of the Foundation for NIH Biomarkers Consortium Osteoarthritis project. Trained as a molecular biologist and a Rheumatologist, she endeavors to study disease from bedside to bench.

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