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Transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) has previously been shown to have actions on chondrocytes and cartilage both in vitro and in vivo which suggest a role in connective tissue repair. In particular, some of its actions have been shown to be antagonistic to those of interleukin 1 (IL-1). In this study, the effects of TGF beta on prostaglandin E (PGE) production and caseinase activity, in the presence and absence of IL-1, in human articular chondrocytes were investigated. TGF beta 1 and TGF beta 2 were shown to modulate IL-1 beta-stimulated PGE production and caseinase activity. Both TGF beta 1 and beta 2 inhibited IL-1 beta-stimulated PGE production in the absence of serum and augmented it in the presence of serum. TGF beta 1 and TGF beta 2 inhibited IL-1-stimulated caseinase activity with and without serum. In general, the TGF beta s had little or no effect on basal PGE or caseinase levels. TGF beta s may be important modulators of chondrocyte metabolism, their effects on PGE production may depend on cytokine interactions; furthermore, their effects on caseinase activity may help prevent cartilage breakdown.

Original publication




Journal article


Br j rheumatol

Publication Date





729 - 734


Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cartilage, Articular, Cell Division, Cells, Cultured, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Drug Combinations, Drug Interactions, Extracellular Matrix, Humans, Interleukin-1, Metalloendopeptidases, Middle Aged, Prostaglandins E, Radioimmunoassay, Transforming Growth Factor beta