Research Progress

12/21/2014: I have successfully proven in animals that the phytochemical extracts of the anthocyanin cyanidin-3-glucoside (C3G) and its main metabolite protocatechuic acid will change the genetic profile of the synovium (joint lining) to increase the antabolic factors (constructive cytokines and growth hormones) and decrease the catabolic factors (destructive cytokines). The joint fluid replicated those changes. The result was protection of the articular cartilage as measured by histochemical analysis. However in this model with severe degenerative arthritis a surgically created partial thickness laceration was not healed. I hypothesized it was due to the severity of arthritis that was induced and/or that there were no cells cells placed in the laceration.

Therefore, I have underway a second experimental model with only an arthrotomy (no ligament cutting or meniscus removal)so the arthritis would not be so severe. A partial thickness laceration was made on the patella and a partial thickness gouge was made in the interchondylar notch. The partial thickness was so that there was no contribution possible to the defect’s healing from cells coming from the bone.

In addition, the joint environment was optimized with oral C3G since that was used in prior experiments to optimize the joint environment. However there was no healing of the laceration, I reasoned that cells would be necessary. Therefore, a synovial cell scraping from the suprapatellar pouch gathered free synovial cells that were wiped into both wounds.

The gross anatomy was examined a the six week interval on rabbits of Groups 3 (C3G and no cells) and Group 4 (C3G and cells in defects). Upon gross anatomical inspection there was tissue in all femoral gouge lesions in both groups. Histology will be necessary to learn there exact nature of the repair. There was a difference in the patellar lacerations. There was more surface depressions (9/12) when no cells were added, compared to 2/12 when cells were added. It appears there is a benefit to the addition of synovial cells.

It will be mid January 2015 when the non treated controls are seen as well as the 12 week animals with C3G and cells.

Significance: The partial thickness lesions should not show any repair under conditions without C3G and or synovial cells. There appears to be repair, especially when the factors of C3G treatment and synovial cells are added to the regimen. Conclusions will be possible in 6 weeks.