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PLOS ONE  2013 

Collagen Metabolism of Human Osteoarthritic Articular Cartilage as Modulated by Bovine Collagen Hydrolysates

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053955

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Destruction of articular cartilage is a characteristic feature of osteoarthritis (OA). Collagen hydrolysates are mixtures of collagen peptides and have gained huge public attention as nutriceuticals used for prophylaxis of OA. Here, we evaluated for the first time whether different bovine collagen hydrolysate preparations indeed modulate the metabolism of collagen and proteoglycans from human OA cartilage explants and determined the chemical composition of oligopeptides representing collagen fragments. Using biophysical techniques, like MALDI-TOF-MS, AFM, and NMR, the molecular weight distribution and aggregation behavior of collagen hydrolysates from bovine origin (CH-Alpha?, Peptan? B 5000, Peptan? B 2000) were determined. To investigate the metabolism of human femoral OA cartilage, explants were obtained during knee replacement surgery. Collagen synthesis of explants as modulated by 0–10 mg/ml collagen hydrolysates was determined using a novel dual radiolabeling procedure. Proteoglycans, NO, PGE2, MMP-1, -3, -13, TIMP-1, collagen type II, and cell viability were determined in explant cultures. Groups of data were analyzed using ANOVA and the Friedman test (n = 5–12). The significance was set to p≤0.05. We found that collagen hydrolysates obtained from different sources varied with respect to the width of molecular weight distribution, average molecular weight, and aggregation behavior. None of the collagen hydrolysates tested stimulated the biosynthesis of collagen. Peptan? B 5000 elevated NO and PGE2 levels significantly but had no effect on collagen or proteoglycan loss. All collagen hydrolysates tested proved not to be cytotoxic. Together, our data demonstrate for the first time that various collagen hydrolysates differ with respect to their chemical composition of collagen fragments as well as by their pharmacological efficacy on human chondrocytes. Our study underscores the importance that each collagen hydrolysate preparation should first demonstrate its pharmacological potential both in vitro and in vivo before being used for both regenerative medicine and prophylaxis of OA.


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