It is well known that the inflammatory cytokines play important roles in osteoarthritis (OA). Diosgenin is a steroidal saponin found in several plants including Solanum and Dioscorea species and possesses diverse biological activities including anti-inflammatory properties. However, the role of diosgenin in inflammatory responses in OA chondrocytes is still unclear. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the anti-inflammatory properties of diosgenin in human OA chondrocytes. We found that diosgenin inhibited the production of nitric oxide (NO) and prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) induced by interleukin-1-beta (IL-1β). Diosgenin significantly inhibited the IL-1β-stimulated expression of metalloproteinase-3 (MMP-3), MMP-13, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) in human OA chondrocytes. In addition, diosgenin suppressed the degradation of IκB-α in IL-1β-induced human OA chondrocytes. Taken together, this study showed that diosgenin can effectively inhibit the IL-1β-induced expression of inflammatory mediators, suggesting that diosgenin may be a potential agent in the treatment of OA.
Keywords: Diosgenin; chondrocytes; inflammation.