Inflammopharmacology

, Volume 19, Issue 6, pp 299–306

Anti-inflammatory activity of chondroitin sulphate: new functions from an old natural macromolecule

Review

DOI: 10.1007/s10787-011-0098-0

Cite this article as:
Volpi, N. Inflammopharmacol (2011) 19: 299. doi:10.1007/s10787-011-0098-0

Abstract

Chondroitin sulphate (CS) is recommended by the European League Against Rheumatism as a symptomatic slow-acting drug for the treatment of osteoarthritis on the basis of numerous clinical trials and meta-analyses. Furthermore, recent clinical trials have also demonstrated the possible structure-modifying effects of CS. This review focuses on recent experimental results and data available in the scientific literature regarding the anti-inflammatory properties of CS with a view to understanding the molecular basis responsible for its activity. Several animal studies have demonstrated that orally administered CS significantly inhibited hind paw oedema, synovitis and destruction of the articular cartilage in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, CS proved to have a beneficial effect in slowing down the development of adjuvant arthritis and in reducing disease markers, findings which support its beneficial activity in humans as a chondroprotective drug. Finally, several in vitro studies have focused on the hypothesis that CS may reduce inflammatory processes by acting on the nuclear translocation of NF-κB, which is closely associated with the blood biomarkers of inflammation, primarily IL-1, IL-6 and C-reactive protein.

Keywords

Chondroitin sulphateAnti-inflammatory drugGlycosaminoglycansOral routeOsteoarthritisAdjuvant arthritis

Abbreviations

BDNF

Brain-derived growth factor

CIA

Collagen-induced arthritis

CRP

C-reactive protein

CS

Chondroitin sulphate

EULAR

European League Against Rheumatism

FGF

Fibroblast growth factor

GAGs

Glycosaminoglycans

GalNAc

N-acetyl-d-galactosamine

GDNF

Glial-derived growth factor

GlcA

d-Glucuronic acid

HGF–FS

Hepatocyte growth factor/scatter factor

KGF

Keratinocyte growth factor

IFN-γ

Interferon-γ

IL

Interleukin

IP-10

γ-Interferon inducible protein-10

LPS

Lipopolysaccharides

MAPK(s)

Mitogen-activated protein kinases

MCP-1

Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1

MK

Midkine

MIP-1α

Macrophage inflammatory peptides-1α

OA

Osteoarthritis

PDGF

Platelet-derived growth factor

PF4

Platelet factor 4

PRR(s)

Pattern recognition receptor(s)

PTN/HB-GAM

Pleiotrophin

RA

Rheumatoid arthritis

SDS-1β

Stromal cell-derived factor-1β

SLC

Secondary lymphoid tissue chemokine

SYSADOA

Symptomatic slow-acting drugs for the treatment of osteoarthritis

TNF-α

Tumour necrosis factor-α

TLR(s)

Toll-like receptor(s)

VEGF

Vascular endothelial growth factor

Copyright information

© Springer Basel AG 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of Modena and Reggio EmiliaModenaItaly