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 microM FA decreased the hydrogen peroxide-induced interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and MMP-1 and partially restored SOX9 gene expression. Post-treatment with 40 microM FA also decreased the expression of MMP-1 and MMP-13.
Conclusion: FA decreased the hydrogen peroxide-induced IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, 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.