Polysaccharide from Angelica sinensis attenuates SNP-induced apoptosis in osteoarthritis chondrocytes by inducing autophagy via the ERK1/2 pathway.Arthritis Res Ther. 2021 01 30; 23(1):47.AR
Chondrocyte apoptosis plays a vital role in osteoarthritis (OA) progression. Angelica sinensis polysaccharide (ASP), a traditional Chinese medicine, possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic properties in chondrocytes. This study aimed to determine the protective role of ASP on sodium nitroprusside (SNP)-induced chondrocyte apoptosis, and explore the underlying mechanism.
Human primary chondrocytes isolated from the articular cartilage of OA patients were treated with SNP alone or in combination with different doses of ASP. Cell viability and apoptosis were assessed, and apoptosis-related proteins including Bcl-2 and Bax were detected. Autophagy levels were evaluated by light chain 3 (LC3) II immunofluorescence staining, mRFP-GFP-LC3 fluorescence localization, and western blot (LC3II, p62, Beclin-1, Atg5). Meanwhile, activation of the ERK 1/2 pathway was determined by western blot. The autophagy inhibitors, 3-methyladenine (3-MA), chloroquine (CQ), and a specific inhibitor of ERK1/2, SCH772984, were used to confirm the autophagic effect of ASP.
The results showed that SNP-induced chondrocyte apoptosis was significantly rescued by ASP, whereas ASP alone promoted chondrocyte proliferation. The anti-apoptotic effect of ASP was related to the enhanced autophagy and depended on the activation of the ERK1/2 pathway.
ASP markedly rescued SNP-induced apoptosis by activating ERK1/2-dependent autophagy in chondrocytes, and it made ASP as a potential therapeutic supplementation for OA treatment.