International journal of clinical and experimental medicine

Decreasing cartilage damage in a rat model of osteoarthritis by intra-articular injection of deoxycholic acid.

PMID 26309557


The aim of this experimental study was to evaluate the effect of intra-articular injection of Deoxycholic acid (DCA) on articular cartilage and subchondral bone following induction of knee Osteoarthritis (OA) in a rat model. Twenty-four Sprague Dawley rats were randomized divided into 4 groups (n = 6). Eighteen of the 24 rats underwent surgical destabilization of the medial meniscus on the right knee joints to induce OA, were divided into 3 groups: DCA 30 mg/kg group, DCA 120 mg/kg group and OA group. The rats in DCA-treated groups were given intra-articular injections of DCA (30 mg/kg or 120 mg/kg) in the operated knees once per 3 days for 42 days. The rats in OA group given intra-articular injections of vehicle alone in the operated knees under the same conditions. The remaining 6 rats (sham-operation group) received sham operations on the right knee joints. 45 days postoperatively, all of the animals were euthanized for macroscopic, histological and radiographic analysis to evaluate the effect of DCA on OA and to determine its potential mechanisms. The results showed that DCA attenuated the severity of OA by reducing macroscopic observation sores for femoral condyles and histological sores for articular cartilage. DCA also significantly decreased bone destruction and erosion of joint evaluated by radiographic examination. Furthermore, DCA could markedly reduce the release of MMP-1, MMP-3 and IL-1β in serum. Intra-articular injection of DCA is beneficial for knee OA. It might repair and protect OA cartilage by delaying cartilage degeneration and impairing the function of inflammatory mediators. These findings highlight DCA might be a useful therapeutic agent for OA.