In vitro comprehensive analysis of VA692 a new chemical entity for the treatment of osteoarthritis

Int Immunopharmacol. 2018 Nov:64:86-100. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2018.08.025. Epub 2018 Aug 25.


Selective cyclooxigenase (COX)-2 inhibitors were developed to prevent traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (tNSAIDs) gastro-intestinal adverse effects. VA692, a recently disclosed selective COX-2 inhibitor, structurally related to well-known marketed coxibs, showed anti-inflammatory, and anti-nociceptive properties. The aim of this study was to analyze the anti-inflammatory effect of VA692, in comparison with celecoxib. At this purpose we evaluated the pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-oxidant enzymes gene expression, apoptosis and ROS production, and PGE2 release in chondrocytes (both primary cultures and immortalized T/C-28a2 cell line) treated with the two drugs. Furthermore, a proteomic analysis has been performed in T/C-28a2 cell line to evaluate modifications in their proteomic profile following drug treatment in presence of IL-1β. Our results demonstrated the anti-inflammatory effect of the novel synthesized VA692, and confirmed those of celecoxib, in counteracting the stimulus of IL-1β in both osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes and T/C-28a2 cell line. Furthermore, the data underlined the possible anti-apoptotic and anti-oxidant role of VA692, implying its regulation in superoxide anion production as indicated by the modulation of anti-oxidant enzymes. The proteomic analysis provides new information about the effect of VA692 on human T/C-28a2 intracellular proteome, demonstrating the usefulness of this approach in the identification and quantifications of several proteins. Modulation of some proteins such as Hsp90 and SOD by VA692 could explain its role in the therapeutic approach of OA. Based on our results, we can affirm that VA692 has more beneficial effect compared with celecoxib particularly regarding the modulation of oxidant/anti-oxidant system and proteome profile of human articular chondrocytes.

Keywords: Chondrocyte cultures; Intracellular proteome; Osteoarthritis; Selective cyclooxigenase 2 inhibitors; VA692.

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / pharmacology*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Celecoxib / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chondrocytes / drug effects
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-1beta / pharmacology
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Proteomics
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1 / analysis


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Interleukin-1beta
  • Superoxide Dismutase-1
  • Celecoxib