, Volume 54, Issue 6, pp 249-255

Fursultiamine, a vitamin B1 derivative, enhances chondroprotective effects of glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate in rabbit experimental osteoarthritis

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Abstract.

Object and design: The therapeutic effect of glucosamine hydrochloride (GH) and chondroitin sulfate (CS) in combination with fursultiamine, a vitamin B1 derivative, on the development of cartilage lesions was investigated in an animal model of osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: The OA model was created by partial medial meniscectomy of the right knee joint (day 0). The rabbits were placed into three experimental groups: operated (OA) rabbits that received placebo treatment, OA rabbits that received GH (1000 mg/kg) + CS (800 mg/kg), and OA rabbits that received GH + CS + fursultiamine (100 mg/kg). Each treatment was initiated on day 3 and continued for 8 weeks. Macroscopic and histologic analyses were performed on the cartilage. The level of MMP-1 in OA cartilage chondrocytes was evaluated by immunohistochemistry.

Results: Only the group receiving combined treatment with GH + CS + fursultiamine showed a significant reduction in the severity of macroscopic and histologic lesions on tibial plateau, which is the weight bearing cartilage surface of the tibia, compared with placebo-treated OA rabbits. This treatment group also revealed a small, but significant, decrease in the body weight gain of the rabbits. In cartilage from placebo-treated OA rabbits, a significantly higher percentage of chondrocytes in superficial layer stained positive for MMP-1 compared with unoperated control. Rabbits treated with the GH + CS + fursultiamine revealed a significant reduction in the level of MMP-1.

Conclusion: These results suggest that the chondroprotective effect of GH + CS is enhanced by the addition of fursultiamine in experimental OA. This effect was associated with a reduction in the level of MMP-1, which are known to play an important role in the pathophysiology of OA lesions.

Received 23 October 2004; returned for revision 7 January 2005; accepted by M. Katori 11 February 2005