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We have examined the way in which products of cultured human blood mononuclear cells activate human articular chondrocytes. Conditioned medium from mononuclear cells enhanced the production of prostaglandin E by cultured human chondrocytes and also stimulated fibrinolytic activity in these cultures. These two effects may be interrelated, since the increased fibrinolysis in response to products of mononuclear cells was partially inhibited by indomethacin, an inhibitor of prostaglandin biosynthesis. The increased fibrinolysis is probably attributable to plasminogen activator, since it was strongly dependent on the presence of plasminogen. Increased amounts of PGE and chondroitin sulphate were also released from intact fragments of cartilage exposed to medium from cultured mononuclear cells. The time course and dose dependence of these effects were studied. The addition of exogenous arachidonic acid markedly enhanced production of PGE2. Ultrogel AcA54 was used to fractionate medium from cultured mononuclear cells and the chondrocyte-stimulating activity eluted with an apparent molecular weight between 12 000 and 25 000 daltons. Adherent and non-adherent mononuclear blood cells were also partially separated and conditioned medium from each was assayed for chondrocyte-stimulating factors. Both populations released factor(s) which increased the production of prostaglandin E by chondrocytes, but more activity came from the adherent mononuclear cells. The possible interrelationship between the chondrocyte activating factor studied here and others described in the literature is discussed.

Original publication




Journal article


Rheumatol int

Publication Date





143 - 149


Arachidonic Acid, Arachidonic Acids, Cartilage, Articular, Cell Adhesion, Cells, Cultured, Fibrinolysis, Humans, Indomethacin, Monocytes, Plasminogen Activators, Prostaglandins E, Proteins