Glycoconjugate Journal

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 221–230 | Cite as

Effects of sesamin on the biosynthesis of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans in human articular chondrocytes in primary culture

  • Peraphan Pothacharoen
  • Sumet Najarus
  • Jongkolnee Settakorn
  • Shuji Mizumoto
  • Kazuyuki SugaharaEmail author
  • Prachya KongtawelertEmail author


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that progressively causes a loss of joint functions and the impaired quality of life. The most significant event in OA is a high degree of degradation of articular cartilage accompanied by the loss of chondroitin sulfate-proteoglycans (CS-PGs). Recently, the chondroprotective effects of sesamin, the naturally occurring substance found in sesame seeds, have been proved in a rat model of papain-induced osteoarthritis. We hypothesized that sesamin may be associated with possible promotion of the biosynthesis of CS-PGs in human articular chondrocytes. The aim of the study was to investigate the effects of sesamin on the major CS-PG biosynthesis in primary human chondrocyte. The effects of sesamin on the gene expression of the PG core and the CS biosynthetic enzymes as well as on the secretion of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) in monolayer and pellet culture systems of articular chondrocytes. Sesamin significantly increased the GAGs content both in culture medium and pellet matrix. Real-time-quantitative PCR showed that sesamin promoted the expression of the genes encoding the core protein (ACAN) of the major CS-PG aggrecan and the biosynthetic enzymes (XYLT1, XYLT2, CHSY1 and CHPF) required for the synthesis of CS-GAG side chains. Safranin-O staining of sesamin treated chondrocyte pellet section confirmed the high degree of GAG accumulation. These results were correlated with an increased level of secreted GAGs in the media of cultured articular chondrocytes in both culture systems. Thus, sesamin would provide a potential therapeutic strategy for treating OA patients.


Sesamin Human articular chondrocytes Chondroitin sulfate Proteoglycan Glycosaminoglycan Osteoarthritis 



The work described in this paper was supported by Center for Innovation in Chemistry: Postgraduate Education and Research Program in Chemistry (PERCH-CIC), Excellence Center Research Fund, Chiang Mai University and also supported in part by the Japan-Thailand Research Cooperative Program (to K. S. and P. K.) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and the National Research Council of Thailand (JSPS-NRCT).

Author contribution

All authors have participated in the work as following:

PP—drafting of the article, interpretation of the data, final approval of the article, conception and design of the study.

SN—analysis and interpretation of the data, drafting the article, statically analysis.

JS—Histological analysis and interpretation.

SM—drafting of the article, final approval of the article.

KS—final approval of the article, revising for intellectual content, conception and design of the study.

PK—final approval of the article, revising for intellectual content, conception and design of the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peraphan Pothacharoen
    • 1
  • Sumet Najarus
    • 1
  • Jongkolnee Settakorn
    • 2
  • Shuji Mizumoto
    • 3
  • Kazuyuki Sugahara
    • 3
    • 4
    Email author
  • Prachya Kongtawelert
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Thailand Excellence Center for Tissue Engineering and Stem Cells, Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of MedicineChiang Mai UniversityMuangThailand
  2. 2.Department of Pathology, Faculty of MedicineChiang Mai UniversityChiang MaiThailand
  3. 3.Proteoglycan Signaling and Therapeutics Research Group, Faculty of Advanced Life ScienceHokkaido University Graduate School of Life ScienceSapporoJapan
  4. 4.Hokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  5. 5.Amphur MuangThailand

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