CC BY-NC-ND-license · Joints 2015; 03(03): 123-128
DOI: 10.11138/jts/2015.3.3.123
Original Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Early joint degeneration and antagonism between growth factors and reactive oxygen species. Is non-surgical management possible?

Andrea Fabio Manunta
1   Orthopaedic Department, University of Sassari, Italy
Pietro Zedde
2   Orthopaedic and Traumatology Unit, Nuoro Hospital, Italy
Sebastiano Cudoni
2   Orthopaedic and Traumatology Unit, Nuoro Hospital, Italy
Gianfilippo Caggiari
1   Orthopaedic Department, University of Sassari, Italy
Gianfranco Pintus
3   Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
15 September 2017 (online)


Purpose: in pathological conditions such as osteoarthritis (OA), overproduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) may overwhelm the antioxidant defenses of chondrocytes, thus promoting oxidative stress and cell death. It can be hypothesized that increasing the antioxidant machinery of chondrocytes may prevent the age-associated progression of this disease. Growth factors (GFs) play an important role in promoting both the resolution of inflammatory processes and tissue repair. in view of these considerations, we set out to investigate the protective effect, against H2O2-induced oxidative cell death, potentially exerted by fluid drained from the joint postoperatively.

Methods: the present study was conducted in 20 patients diagnosed with bilateral knee osteoarthritis and treated, between January 2013 and June 2014, with prosthetic knee implantation on the side more affected by the arthritic process, together with intraoperative placement of a closed-circuit drainage aspiration system. As a result, 20 different serum samples were collected from the drained articular fluid, prepared using two different methodologies. In addition, forty blood serum samples were obtained and prepared: 20 from the surgically treated patients and 20 from healthy controls. The present work was undertaken to investigate the potential protective effect of sera obtained from articular fluid drainage against hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in cultured human chondrocytes.

Results: exposure of chondrocytes to hydrogen peroxide elicited a dose-dependent increase in oxidative stress and chondrocyte cell death, phenomena that were significantly counteracted by the pre-treatment of cell cultures with sera from articular fluid drainage.

Conclusions: oxidatively stressed chondrocytes treated with sera obtained from articular fluid drainage lived longer than those treated with blood serum samples and longer than untreated ones.

Clinical Relevance: synovial fluids are usually discarded once the drainage reservoir is full; instead they could benefit the patients from whom they are collected, as they are rich in growth factors and they may act as antagonists of ROS effects. Accordingly, they could be used to treat chondropathies, early OA, and mild OA located in other sites.