Hydroxytyrosol (HT), a phenolic compound mainly derived from olives, has been proposed as a nutraceutical useful in prevention or treatment of degenerative diseases. In the present study we have evaluated the ability of HT to counteract the appearance of osteoarthritis (OA) features in human chondrocytes. Pre-treatment of monolayer cultures of chondrocytes with HT was effective in preventing accumulation of reactive oxidant species (ROS), DNA damage and cell death induced by H2O2 exposure, as well as the increase in the mRNA level of pro-inflammatory, matrix-degrading and hypertrophy marker genes, such as iNOS, COX-2, MMP-13, RUNX-2 and VEGF. HT alone slightly enhanced ROS production, but did not enhance cell damage and death or the expression of OA-related genes. Moreover HT was tested in an in vitro model of OA, i.e. three-dimensional micromass cultures of chondrocytes stimulated with growth-related oncogene a (GROa), a chemokine involved in OA pathogenesis and known to promote hypertrophy and terminal differentiation of chondrocytes. In micromass constructs, HT pre-treatment inhibited the increases in caspase activity and the level of the messengers for iNOS, COX-2, MMP-13, RUNX-2 and VEGF elicited by GROa. In addition, HT significantly increased the level of SIRT-1 mRNA in the presence of GROa. In conclusion, the present study shows that HT reduces oxidative stress and damage, exerts pro-survival and anti-apoptotic actions and favourably influences the expression of critical OA-related genes in human chondrocytes treated with stressors promoting OA-like features.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)