Note: The following abstracts are written in extremely technical language and include technical research and case studies. References are provided. For 'user-friendly' informative reading, check out the health topics presented by Dr. Martin and Dr. Davenport. Feel free to contact us for more information or if you have any questions.

Glycosaminoglycan chondroprotection: pharmacological vistas

Chondroprotection is a somewhat new field in the therapy of osteoarthritis, which is designed to improve cartilage repair as well as enhance joint remodeling. It clearly results from both laboratory models as well as from studies on human osteoarthritis, that cartilage contains biological resources to meet the repair of degenerative injuries and inflammation. Interestingly, sulfated glycosaminoglycans from matrix inhibit leukocyte protease and complement-mediated immunological reactions. By fractioning cartilage glycosaminoglycans from Selachus (Matrix), evidence has been obtained that a proper chondroitin sulfate sequence, which is able to inhibit elastase, may be released from cartilage proteoglycans by cleavage of the xyl-ser O-glycosidic bond. Since a number of sulfated glycosaminoglycans have a regulatory function in an array of tissues, attention is drawn to possible regulatory properties of selected sequences of matrix chondroitin sulfate, as far as chondroprotection is concerned.

Int-J-Clin-Pharmacol-Res. 1993; 13 Suppl: 1-9

Chondroprotection with chondroitin sulfate

The remarkable insights into the pathogenesis of osteo-arthrosis (OA) have also affected the therapeutic field. Efforts have been made to find drugs which would somehow block or slow down the evolution of this disease. In this connection, a major contribution has been made by the investigations on glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), which play a crucial role in the physiology of joint cartilage. It was thus suggested that proper supplementation with GAGs might enable chondrocytes to replace the proteoglycans (PG). Galactosaminoglucuronoglycan sulfate (GAGGS) has been used for this purpose. In preliminary clinical trials, GAGGS exhibited a remarkable tolerability and good therapeutic efficacy. GAGs are generally able to inhibit certain enzymes present in the synovial fluid which may damage joint cartilage (elastase, hyaluronidase). Moreover, GAGGS has also been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory drug since it has an inhibitory effect over the complement. All these data supply evidence that, in theory, GAGGS may have a chondroprotective effect in patients with OA. In addition to the positive results of preliminary clinical trials, the use of GAGGS in OA therapy is based on the fact that this drug is absorbed by the body, is concentrated in the cartilage's and produces no toxic or teratogenic effects. In the clinical studies performed so far, although of the open type, GAGGS has always yielded clinical improvement both of painful symptoms and of limited function thanks to its proven anti-inflammatory activity. Thus once the results from other ongoing trials (double blind) are available, hopefully GAGGS will in fact become a basic drug for OA therapy.

Drugs-Exp-Clin-Res. 1991; 17(1): 3-7

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