Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB), is a pivotal transcription factor involved in the activation of the TNF-alpha and IL-1beta genes. Activation of NF-kappaB in synovial cells is a feature seen in arthritis patients. Resveratrol, a polyphenolic, natural phytoalexin found with particularly high levels in grape skin and red wine is potent and specific inhibitor of TNF-alpha and IL-1beta induced NF-kappaB activation. We aimed to determine the in vivo effects of intra-articular injections of resveratrol on cartilage and synovium in an experimental rabbit inflammatory arthritis model.
Materials and methods: Arthritis was induced by intra-articular injection of three times of 50 mug lipopolysaccharide (LPS) at day 0, 4 and 8 at 4-day intervals into the knee joints of rabbits. To the test group, 10 muMol/kg resveratrol in the DMSO was injected in the knees at day 0 and then it was continued once daily for 2 weeks. To the control group the same time and amount of DMSO was injected the knees of rabbits. All rabbits were killed 1 week after the last injection and cartilage tissue and synovium were evaluated with semiquantitative scoring histologically.
Results: According to control group in the resveratrol group, significantly decreased cartilage destruction was determined by H&E staining (p = 0.04). Loss of matrix proteoglycan content in the cartilage was much lower, as determined by safranin O staining (p = 0.03). We also observed marked synovial inflammation after intra-articular injection to control knees, but not in the resveratrol treated group knees (p = 0.01).
Conclusion: This study suggests that intra-articular injection of resveratrol may protect cartilage against the development of experimentally induced IA.