Reduced NO accumulation in arthrotic cartilage by exposure to methylene blue

N. Cohen, D. Robinson, J. Ben-Ezzer, Y. Hemo, A. Hasharoni, Y. Wolmann, I. Otremski, Z. Nevo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nitric oxide (NO) appears to be a final common inflammation mediator of cartilage degradation. Halting the pathological formation of excessive NO, by suppressing the inducible NO synthase (iNOS) activity, may help to preserve cartilage integrity. We used fresh ex-vivo human articular cartilage explants from normal and arthrotic joints for assessment of NO levels, as determined by its nitrite degradation products and nitric oxide synthase expression. We measured matrix proteoglycan content, assessed by image analysis of alcian blue staining, and proteaglycan synthesis, assessed by sulfate incorporation into proteoglycans. The effect of methylene blue, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, on matrix preservation was evaluated. Cartilage discs in vitro, derived from normal appearing joints, secreted about one tenth as much NO compared to discs derived from arthrotic cartilage. Cartilage explants showed a time-dependent reduction in the amount of aggrecan within the cartilaginous matrix. Addition of methylene blue to the growth medium lowered nitric oxide accumulation and prevented matrix degradation in the cultured cartilage discs. The cartilage matrix preservation effect was mediated through downregulation of all three isoforms of NOS, i.e., the neuronal NOS, endothelial NOS and inducible NOS and upregulation of TGF beta receptor in the chondrocytes. Our findings indicate that inhibition of NOS activity preserves cartilage matrix in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)630-636
Number of pages7
JournalActa Orthopaedica Scandinavica
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000


Dive into the research topics of 'Reduced NO accumulation in arthrotic cartilage by exposure to methylene blue'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this