The dose dependent effects of betulin on porcine chondrocytes
The past two decades triterpenes have attracted attention because of their pharmacological potential, especially its anti-oxidant activity. The present study was aimed to evaluate the possible protective effects of the triterpene betulin on porcine chondrocytes. For this, the cells were treated with different doses of betulin (0.02, 0.32 and 5.12 μg/mL) and without betulin. Biochemical measures of necrosis, mitochondrial activity, DNA content and sulphated glycosaminoglycans (sGAG) were reported. In addition, the gene expression of extracellular matrix molecules (ECM), proteases and soluble factors were examined. The abundance of reactive oxygen species (ROS) was also reported. Among the concentrations tried 0.32 μg/mL of betulin was found to be optimum because it effectively promoted the gene expressions of type II collagen, aggrecan and inhibited the gene expression of matrix metalloproteinase 2 (MMP-2). The chemiluminescence (CL) assay indicated that betulin treated chondrocytes had better free radical scavenging activity than the chondrocytes cultured without betulin. Alcian blue staining revealed that the chondrocytes were functionally active and able to synthesis sGAG. The free radical scavenging activity ensures betulin as protectant of chondrocytes and it further maintains the proliferation and basic activities of chondrocytes.
Journal: Process Biochemistry - Volume 44, Issue 6, June 2009, Pages 678–684