Objective: The objective of the study is to evaluate the effect of ferulic acid (FA), an antioxidant from the Chinese herb Dong-Gui [Chinese angelica, Angelica sinensis (Oliv.) Diels], on the regulation of various genes in hydrogen peroxide-stimulated porcine chondrocytes at the mRNA level. Methods: The effect of FA and the effective concentration of FA on porcine chondrocytes was evaluated by the lactate dehydrogenase, WST-1, crystal violet assay, and a chemical luminescence assay. Gene expression in hydrogen peroxide-stimulated chondrocytes either pre- or post-treated with FA was evaluated by real-time PCR. Results: Chondrocytes pre-treated with 40 μM FA decreased the hydrogen peroxide-induced interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and MMP-1 and partially restored SOX9 gene expression. Post-treatment with 40 μM FA also decreased the expression of MMP-1 and MMP-13. Conclusion: FA decreased the hydrogen peroxide-induced IL-1β, TNF-α, MMP-1 and MMP-13 and increased SOX9 gene expression. These findings suggest that FA may prove to be important in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Further research is needed.
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