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Morusin Ameliorates IL-1β-Induced Chondrocyte Inflammation and Osteoarthritis via NF-κB Signal Pathway

Authors Jia Y, He W, Zhang H, He L, Wang Y, Zhang T, Peng J, Sun P, Qian Y

Received 1 January 2020

Accepted for publication 9 March 2020

Published 26 March 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 1227—1240


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos

Yewei Jia,1,* Wei He,1,* Hanxiao Zhang,2 Lei He,1 Yanben Wang,1 Tan Zhang,1 Jiaxuan Peng,3 Peng Sun,2 Yu Qian1

1Department of Orthopaedics, Shaoxing Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Shaoxing, Zhejiang 312000, People’s Republic of China; 2The Second Affiliated Hospital and Yuying Children’s Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325000, People’s Republic of China; 3Guangxi Key Laboratory of Regenerative Medicine, Guangxi Medical University, Guangxi 530021, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Yu Qian
Department of Orthopaedics, Shaoxing Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Shaoxing, Zhejiang 312000, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 13905754033

Purpose: Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most common degenerative joint diseases in the world, characterized primarily by the progressive degradation of articular cartilage. Accumulating evidence has shown that Morusin, a flavonoid derived from the root bark of Morus alba (mulberry) plants, exerts unique protective properties in several diseases. However, its effects on OA, specifically, have not yet been characterized.
Methods: In this study, we evaluated the anti-inflammatory effect of Morusin on mouse chondrocytes and its underlying mechanism in vitro. In addition, the protective effect of Morusin on destabilization of the medial meniscus (DMM) model was also explored in vivo.
Results: In vitro, IL-1β-induced activation of inflammatory factors (TNF-α, IL-6, INOS and COX2) was dramatically suppressed by Morusin. Further, Morusin treatment inhibited the expression of ADAMTS5 and metalloproteinase (MMPs), both of which regulate extracellular matrix degradation. Morusin also decreased IL-1β-induced p65 phosphorylation and IκBα degradation. In vivo, degradation of the articular cartilage following surgical DMM, which mimicked OA pathology, was abrogated following treatment with Morusin, thus demonstrating a protective effect in the DMM model.
Conclusion: Herein, we demonstrate that Morusin reduces the OA inflammatory response in vitro and protects against articular cartilage degradation in vivo potentially via regulation of the NF-κB pathway. Hence, Morusin may prove to be an effective candidate for novel OA therapeutic strategies.

Keywords: osteoarthritis, chondrocytes, Morusin, IL-1β, NF-κB pathway

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