Background The ability to decrease inflammation and promote healing is important in the intervention and management of a variety of disease states, including osteoarthritis of the knee (OAK). Even though cyclooxygenase 2 (COX2) has an established pro-inflammatory role, evidence suggests it is also critical to the resolution that occurs after the initial activation phase of the immune response. In this study, we investigated the effects of the low molecular weight fraction of 5% human serum albumin (LMWF-5A), an agent that has proven to decrease pain and improve function in OAK patients after intra-articular injection, on the expression of COX2 and its downstream products, prostaglandins (PGs). Methods Fibroblast-like synoviocytes from the synovial membrane of OAK patients were treated with LMWF-5A or saline as a control with or without the addition of interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) to elicit an inflammatory response. Cells were harvested for RNA and protein at 2, 4, 8, 12, and 24 h, and media was collected at 24 h for analysis of secreted products. COX2 mRNA expression was determined by qPCR, and COX2 protein expression was determined by western blot analysis. Levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and prostaglandin D2 (PGD2) in the media were quantified by competitive ELISA. Results In the presence of either IL-1beta or TNFalpha, LMWF-5A increased the expression of both COX2 mRNA and protein, and this increase was significant compared to that observed with IL-1beta- or TNFalpha-stimulated, saline-treated cells. Downstream of COX2, the levels of PGE2 were increased only in TNFalpha-stimulated, LMWF-5A-treated cells; however, in both IL-1beta- and TNFalpha-stimulated cells, LMWF-5A increased the release of the anti-inflammatory prostaglandin PGD2. Conclusion LMWF-5A appears to trigger increased anti-inflammatory PG signaling, and this may be a primary component of its therapeutic mode of action in the treatment of OAK.Copyright © 2016 The Authors
E.D., F., M.A., H., G.W., T., L.T., R., D., B.-O., & E., B. (2016). The low molecular weight fraction of human serum albumin upregulates COX2, prostaglandin E2, and prostaglandin D2 under inflammatory conditions in osteoarthritic knee synovial fibroblasts. Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, 8, 68–74.