Boosting the Intra-Articular Efficacy of Low Dose Corticosteroid through a Biopolymeric Matrix: An In Vivo Model of Osteoarthritis

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The purpose of this study was to verify the efficacy of a single intra-articular (i.a.) injection of a hyaluronic acid-chitlac (HY-CTL) enriched with two low dosages of triamcinolone acetonide (TA, 2.0 mg/mL and 4.5 mg/mL), in comparison with HY-CTL alone, with a clinical control (TA 40 mg/mL) and with saline solution (NaCl) in an in vivo osteoarthritis (OA) model. Seven days after chemical induction of OA, 80 Sprague Dawley male rats were grouped into five arms (n = 16) and received a single i.a. injection of: 40 mg/mL TA, HY-CTL alone, HY-CTL with 2.0 mg/mL TA (RV2), HY-CTL with 4.5 mg/mL TA (RV4.5) and 0.9% NaCl. Pain sensitivity and Catwalk were performed at baseline and at 7, 14 and 21 days after the i.a. treatments. The histopathology of the joint, meniscus and synovial reaction, type II collagen expression and aggrecan expression were assessed 21 days after treatments. RV4.5 improved the local pain sensitivity in comparison with TA and NaCl. RV4.5 and TA exerted similar beneficial effects in all gait parameters. Histopathological analyses, measured by Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI) and Kumar scores and by immunohistochemistry, evidenced that RV4.5 and TA reduced OA features in the same manner and showed a stronger type II collagen and aggrecan expression; both treatments reduced synovitis, as measured by Krenn score and, at the meniscus level, RV4.5 improved degenerative signs as evaluated by Pauli score. TA or RV4.5 treatments limited the local articular cartilage deterioration in knee OA with an improvement of the physical structure of articular cartilage, gait parameters, the sensitivity to local pain and a reduction of the synovial inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jun 28 2020


  • chitosan
  • corticosteroid
  • efficacy study
  • hyaluronic acid
  • knee osteoarthritis


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