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Open Access Research article

Edible Bird’s nest extract as a chondro-protective agent for human chondrocytes isolated from osteoarthritic knee: in vitro study

Kien-Hui Chua1, Ting-Hun Lee2*, Kamini Nagandran2, Nor Hamdan Md Yahaya3, Chew-Tin Lee4, Eddie Tan Ti Tjih5 and Ramlan Abdul Aziz2

Author affiliations

1 Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, Kuala Lumpur, 50300, Malaysia

2 Institute of Bioproduct Development, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor 81310, Malaysia

3 Department of Orthopaedic and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latif Bandar Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, Cheras, 56000, Malaysia

4 Faculty of Chemical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Skudai, Johor, 81310, Malaysia

5 Food Technology Department, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Selangor, Shah Alam, 40450, Malaysia

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Citation and License

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:19  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-19

Published: 22 January 2013

Abstract

Background

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease that results in the destruction of cartilage. Edible Bird’s Nest (EBN) extract contains important components, which can reduce the progression of osteoarthritis and helps in the regeneration of the cartilage. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of EBN extract on the catabolic and anabolic activities of the human articular chondrocytes (HACs) isolated from the knee joint of patients with OA.

Methods

A single batch of EBN extract was prepared with hot-water extraction and coded as HMG. HACs were isolated from the knee joint cartilage removed during surgery. The optimum concentration of HMG for HAC cultures was determined using MTT assay. The effect of HMG on the catabolic and anabolic genes’ expression in HACs was measured by real-time PCR. The total amount of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was determined by ELISA method, and the total sulphated glycosaminoglycan (GAGs) production was quantified by 1,9-dimethylmethylene blue (DMMB) assay.

Results

MTT assay showed 0.50% - 1.00% HMG supplementation promoted HACs proliferation. HMG supplementation was able to reduce the catabolic genes’ expression in cultured HACs such as matrix metalloproteinases (MMP1 & MMP3), Interleukin 1, 6 and 8 (IL-1, IL-6 & IL-8), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production was significantly reduced in HAC cultures supplemented with HMG. With regard to anabolic activity assessment, type II collagen, Aggrecan and SOX-9 gene expression as well as sGAG production was increased in the HMG supplemented groups.

Conclusion

Edible Bird’s Nest extract coded as HMG demonstrated chondro-protection ability on human articular chondrocytes in vitro. It reduced catabolic activities and increased cartilage extracellular matrix synthesis. It is concluded that HMG is a potential agent in the treatment of osteoarthritis.