eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2020   Volume No 39 – pages 65-76

Title: Link N suppresses interleukin-1β-induced biological effects on human osteoarthritic cartilage

Authors: M Alaqeel, MP Grant, LM Epure, O Salem, A AlShaer, OL Huk, SG Bergeron, DJ Zukor, R Kc, H-J Im, AN Anbazhagan, J Antoniou, F Mwale

Address: Orthopaedics Research Laboratory, Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research, SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, Department of Experimental Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, 3755 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC, H3T 1E2, Canada.

E-mail: fmwale at

Abstract: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a disease of diarthrodial joints associated with extracellular matrix proteolytic degradation under inflammatory conditions, pain and disability. Currently, there is no therapy to prevent, reverse or modulate the disease course. The present study aimed at evaluating the regenerative potential of Link N (LN) in human OA cartilage in an inflammatory milieu and determining if LN could affect pain-related behaviour in a knee OA mouse injury model.
     Osteo-chondro OA explants and OA chondrocytes were treated with LN in the presence of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) to simulate an osteoarthritic environment. Quantitative von Frey polymerase chain reaction and Western blotting were performed to determine the effect of LN on matrix protein synthesis, catabolic enzymes, cytokines and nerve growth factor expression. Partial medial meniscectomy (PMM) was performed on the knee of C57BL/6 mice and, 12 weeks post-surgery, mice were given a 5 µg intra-articular injection of LN or phosphate-buffered saline. A von Frey test was conducted over 24 h to measure the mechanical allodynia in the hind paw.
     LN modulated proteoglycan and collagen synthesis in human OA cartilage through inhibition of IL-1β-induced biological effects. LN also supressed IL-1β-induced upregulation of cartilage-degrading enzymes and inflammatory molecules in OA chondrocytes. Upon investigation of the canonical signalling pathways IL-1β and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), LN resulted to significantly inhibit NF-κB activation in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, LN suppressed mechanical allodynia in an OA PMM mouse model. Results supported the concept that LN administration could provide therapeutic potential in OA.

Key Words: Osteoarthritis, cartilage repair, bioactive peptides, link N, nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells, interlukin-1.

Publication date: January 15th 2020

Article download: Pages 65-76 (PDF file)

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