Objective—To evaluate the effects of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) on proteoglycan production by equine chondrocytes and to investigate whether glucosamine hydrochloride modulates these effects at clinically relevant concentrations. Sample Population—Articular cartilage with normal gross appearance from metacarpophalangeal and metatarsophalangeal joints of 8 horses (1 to 10 years of age). Procedures—In vitro chondrocyte pellets were pretreated with glucosamine (0, 1, 10, and 100 μg/mL) for 48 hours and exposed to MPA (0, 0.05, and 0.5 mg/mL) for 24 hours. Pellets and media were assayed for proteoglycan production (Alcian blue precipitation) and proteoglycan content (dimethylmethylene blue assay), and pellets were assayed for DNA content. Results—Methylprednisolone decreased production of proteoglycan by equine chondrocytes at both concentrations studied. Glucosamine protected proteoglycan production at all 3 concentrations studied. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Methylprednisolone, under noninflammatory conditions present in this study, decreased production of proteoglycan by equine chondrocytes. Glucosamine had a protective effect against inhibition of proteoglycan production at all 3 concentrations studied. This suggested that glucosamine may be useful as an adjunct treatment when an intra-articular injection of a corticosteroid is indicated and that it may be efficacious at concentrations relevant to clinical use.
American Journal of Veterinary Research