Evaluation of the effects of pregabalin on chondrocyte proliferation and CHAD, HIF-1α, and COL2A1 gene expression
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Submission date: 2017-11-25
Final revision date: 2018-01-02
Acceptance date: 2018-01-03
Online publication date: 2018-02-02
Publication date: 2018-10-31
Arch Med Sci 2018;14(6):1340–1347
The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of pregabalin (PGB) on chondrocyte proliferation and collagen type II (COL2A1), hypoxia-inducible factor 1- (HIF-1), and chondroadherin (CHAD) gene expression in osteoarthritic chondrocytes.

Material and methods:
Standard primary chondrocyte cultures were prepared using osteochondral tissues that were surgically obtained from 6 patients with gonarthrosis. Cell morphology was evaluated using an inverted microscope, and cell death and proliferation were determined through MTT analysis, which was confirmed by AO/PI staining and statistically evaluated. The expression levels of CHAD, COL2A1, and HIF-1 genes were assessed using gene-specific TaqMan Gene Expression Assays.

MTT analyses showed that PGB administration did not have a negative or toxic effect on cell viability and proliferation in cultured chondrocytes (p < 0.001), but in our morphological evaluation extracellular matrix development was observed to be weaker in cultures treated with PGB. After 24 h of treatment, COL2A1, HIF-1, and CHAD gene expression decreased in the groups to which PGB was applied compared to gene expression before the experiment (at 0 h); at 48 h, CHAD and HIF-1 expression increased to the same level as the control group, but the expression of COL2A1 continued to decrease.

Further studies need to be conducted with more participants to prove that there is a negative correlation between extracellular matrix formation and PGB administration. Our preliminary data show that even at low doses and over short-term administration, PGB may affect chondrocyte cells at the gene-expression level.