Vitamin C induced apoptosis in human articular chondrocytes
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Chondrocytes present in articular cartilage survive as a resident cell population throughout the lifespan of the individual organism. However, articular chondrocytes as other cells also undergo apoptosis and there is an ever increasing list of diverse stimuli that can induce this phenomenon in vitro. Our main interest was to investigate potential cytotoxic effects of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) on human articular chondrocytes. The present study suggests that vitamin C can induce apoptosis in a cell culture of chondrocytes after 18 h of cultivation. Apoptosis-inducing activity of L-ascorbic acid is dose dependent and significantly affected by the presence of serum. The increased number of vitamin C induced apoptotic cells was associated with DNA fragmentation and morphological changes of the cells.