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An inverse correlation between the morbidity of rheumatoid arthritis and daily intake of β-cryptoxanthin has been epidemiologically shown. In this study, we investigated the effects of β-cryptoxanthin on the metabolism of cartilage extracellular matrix in vivo and in vitro. Oral administration of β-cryptoxanthin (0.1-1 mg/kg) to antigen-induced arthritic rats suppressed the loss of glycosaminoglycans in articular cartilage, which is accompanied by the interference of aggrecanase-mediated degradation of aggrecan. Inhibition of the interleukin 1α (IL-1α)-induced aggrecan degradation by β-cryptoxanthin was also observed with porcine articular cartilage explants in culture. β-Cryptoxanthin (1-10 μM) dose-dependently down-regulated the IL-1α-induced gene expression of aggrecanase 1 (ADAMTS-4) and aggrecanase 2 (ADAMTS-5) in cultured human chondrocytes. Moreover, β-cryptoxanthin was found to augment the gene expression of aggrecan core protein in chondrocytes. These results provide novel evidence that β-cryptoxanthin exerts anti-arthritic actions and suggest that β-cryptoxanthin may be useful in blocking the progression of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochemical and biophysical research communications

Publication Date





352 - 358


Department of Biochemistry, School of Pharmacy, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Sciences, Hachioji, Tokyo, Japan.


Cartilage, Articular, Synovial Fluid, Cells, Cultured, Chondrocytes, Animals, Rats, Inbred Lew, Swine, Humans, Arthritis, Experimental, Antirheumatic Agents, Organ Culture Techniques, Gene Expression Regulation, Down-Regulation, Female, Aggrecans, ADAMTS4 Protein, ADAMTS5 Protein, Beta-Cryptoxanthin