Chondrocyte proliferation, viability and differentiation is declined following administration of methylphenidate utilized for the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Hum Exp Toxicol. 2017 Sep;36(9):981-992. doi: 10.1177/0960327116678294. Epub 2016 Nov 12.


Purpose: Methylphenidate (MPH) derivative drugs are used because of psychostimulants effects on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children and adults. As far as we know, toxic or anti-proliferative effects of MPH against cartilage tissue were not studied in the literature. The present study was carried out to investigate the possible effects of MPH on the proliferation, viability and differentiation of primary human chondrocytes, in vitro.

Methods: Monolayer primary chondrocyte cultures were prepared using osteochondral tissue obtained from patients who underwent a total knee prosthesis operation. Stock solution of MPH was prepared and aliquots having 1-1000 µM concentrations of the drug was composed. These solutions were applied to the wells containing cultured chondrocyte samples within the well plates. Control groups were composed of pure chondrocyte culture and no solution was added into them. All groups were evaluated at 24, 48 and 72 h in order to determine the possible negative effects of the drug on the chondrocytes. The data were evaluated by Tukey's honestly significantly different test following analysis of variance.

Results: In the group where MPH was applied, it was found that viability, proliferation and stage-specific embryonic antigen-1 protein expression were decreased in comparison to the control group.

Conclusions: It was emphasized that clinicians should not disregard the fact that this drug might suppress chondrocyte cell proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation.

Keywords: ADHD; SSEA-1; chondrotoxicity; methylphenidate; proliferation.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / drug therapy
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Methylphenidate / adverse effects*
  • Methylphenidate / therapeutic use


  • Methylphenidate