Macrophage products induce production of proteases that contribute to cartilage degradation in various joint diseases. In these studies we stimulated rabbit chondrocytes with various cytokines in vitro in order to determine which were responsible for changes in the release of prostaglandin, plasminogen activator, and a metalloproteinase. The metalloproteinase assayed in these studies is a latent enzyme whose activity can rapidly be measured with fluorogenic casein. Conditioned media from stimulated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells; purified human monocyte IL 1, pI 7,6, and 5; and recombinant human IL 1, beta or alpha forms, all changed the secretory pattern of rabbit articular chondrocytes in a similar manner: production and secretion of a latent metalloproteinase(s) and prostaglandin E were stimulated in a concentration-dependent fashion, whereas the activity of plasminogen activator was strongly reduced. Antibodies against human monocyte IL 1 blocked the active principle in various mononuclear cell-conditioned media, suggesting that uncharacterized factors present in these supernatants do not affect the metalloproteinase response. When added to confluent chondrocytes, phorbol myristate acetate, concanavalin A, IL 2, lipopolysaccharide, indomethacin, and prostaglandin E2, which interfere with lymphocyte proliferation assays for IL 1, failed to influence chondrocyte metalloproteinase secretion. Recombinant human IFN-alpha or IFN-gamma in the presence or absence of IL 1 had no effect on rabbit chondrocytes, whereas recombinant human tumor necrosis factor decreased plasminogen activator but had no effect on prostaglandin or metalloproteinase production. These results support the concept that IL 1 specifically induces chondrocytes to produce metalloproteinases, and hence may play an important role in destructive joint diseases.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.