Osteoarthritis (OA) poses a major clinical challenges owing to limited regenerative ability of diseased or traumatized chondrocytes in articular cartilage. Previous studies have determined the individual therapeutic efficacies of hyaluronic acid (HA) and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on OA; however, the underlying mechanism is still lacking. Therefore, we investigated mechanistic approach of HA+PRP therapy on chondrocyte apoptosis in IL-1β+TNF-α (I+T) treated in vitro OA model, in addition to in vivo anterior cruciate ligament transection-OA mice model. MTT assay showed an enhanced chondrocyte proliferation and viability in HA+PRP-treated group, compared to I+T, I+T/HA, I+T/PRP, I+T/HA+PRP groups. Further, HA+PRP also significantly suppressed ROS, apoptotic cleaved caspase-3 and PARP, p53 and p21 and MMP-1; whereas, cell cycle modulatory proteins including p-ERK, cyclin B1, D1, and E2 were upregulated. The sub-G1 population and TUNEL assay confirmed the higher abundance of healthy chondrocytes in HA+PRP group. A significantly decreased ARS staining in HA+PRP group was also noted, indicating reduced cartilaginous matrix mineralization compared to other groups. Conclusively, compared to HA or PRP, the combined HA+PRP might be a promising therapy for articular cartilage regeneration in osteoarthritic pathology, possibly via augmented anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative chondrocyte proliferation and inhibited MMP-1 activity and matrix calcification.
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