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Elevated Glucose Levels Preserve Glucose Uptake, Hyaluronan Production, and Low Glutamate Release Following Interleukin-1 beta Stimulation of Differentiated Chondrocytes

Journal article
Authors Victoria Rotter Sopasakis
Ruth Wickelgren
Valentina Sukonina
Camilla Brantsing
E. Svala
Elisabeth Hansson
Sven Enerbäck
Anders Lindahl
Eva Skiöldebrand
Published in Cartilage
Volume 10
Issue 4
Pages 491-503
ISSN 1947-6035
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Pages 491-503
Language en
Keywords chondrocytes, osteoarthritis, inflammation, matrix, hyaluronan, articular-cartilage, oxidative stress, mmp-2 secretion, osteoarthritis, transport, inflammation, association, metabolism, tissue, degradation, Orthopedics
Subject categories Cell biology


Objective Chondrocytes are responsible for remodeling and maintaining the structural and functional integrity of the cartilage extracellular matrix. Because of the absence of a vascular supply, chondrocytes survive in a relatively hypoxic environment and thus have limited regenerative capacity during conditions of cellular stress associated with inflammation and matrix degradation, such as osteoarthritis (OA). Glucose is essential to sustain chondrocyte metabolism and is a precursor for key matrix components. In this study, we investigated the importance of glucose as a fuel source for matrix repair during inflammation as well as the effect of glucose on inflammatory mediators associated with osteoarthritis. Design To create an OA model, we used equine chondrocytes from 4 individual horses that were differentiated into cartilage pellets in vitro followed by interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta) stimulation for 72 hours. The cells were kept at either normoglycemic conditions (5 mM glucose) or supraphysiological glucose concentrations (25 mM glucose) during the stimulation with IL-1 beta. Results We found that elevated glucose levels preserve glucose uptake, hyaluronan synthesis, and matrix integrity, as well as induce anti-inflammatory actions by maintaining low expression of Toll-like receptor-4 and low secretion of glutamate. Conclusions Adequate supply of glucose to chondrocytes during conditions of inflammation and matrix degradation interrupts the detrimental inflammatory cycle and induces synthesis of hyaluronan, thereby promoting cartilage repair.

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