Study Title:

Chondroitin Sulfate Reduces Inflammation

Study Abstract

OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: To evaluate the immune-modulator effect of chondroitin sulfate (CS) by means of the review of the literature.

RESULTS: Inflammatory reactions are primarily originated by infectious agents, immune reactions and by sterile tissue lesions that activate membrane receptors by means of pathogen-associated molecular patterns, tissue breakdown products and cytokines. The activation of membrane receptors triggers the phosphorylation of mitogen activated protein kinases and of the nuclear factor kappaB (NF-kappaB). The binding of NF-kappaB to the promoter of target genes enhances the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines, inducible nitric oxide synthase, cyclooxygenase 2, phospholipase A2, and matrix metalloproteases, proteins that contribute to tissue damage and to the inflammatory reaction. The activation of NF-kappaB has a key role in the immune homeostasis and the inflammatory response and therefore, in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) is able to diminish NF-kappaB activation and nuclear translocation in chondrocytes and synovial membrane, effects that may explain the benefits of CS in osteoarthritis. In addition, systemic CS reduces NF-kappaB nuclear translocation in macrophages and hepatocytes, raising the hypothesis that CS might be of benefit to treat other diseases with a strong inflammatory component. There is preliminary evidence in humans that CS improves moderate to severe psoriasis. Moreover, experimental and clinical data suggest that CS might be a useful therapeutic agent in diseases such as inflammatory bowel diseases, atherosclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus.

DISCUSSION: These results urge for double blinded placebo-controlled trials to confirm the utility of CS in diseases with immune and inflammatory components

Study Information

Vallières M, du Souich P.
Modulation of inflammation by chondroitin sulfate.
Osteoarthritis Cartilage.
2010 April
Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3C 3J7.

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