Potential of tetracyclines to modify cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis.


For several decades, it has been recognized that an imbalance between activated matrix metalloproteinases, generated locally by both infiltrating and resident cells, and their endogenous inhibitors may play a role in the pathologic breakdown of the joint extracellular matrix in osteoarthritis. This understanding has stimulated the search for a number of synthetic matrix metalloproteinase inhibitors that could serve as potential therapeutic agents. Tetracycline analogues are currently on the threshold of approval as anti-matrix metalloproteinases for another extracellular matrix-destructive disease, periodontitis, and this application could be extended to osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis therapy. In this regard, specially formulated low-dose regimens of a commercially available tetracycline, doxycycline, have been used in long-term clinical trials and were found to reduce extracellular matrix breakdown, including bone loss, in adult periodontitis. Matrix metalloproteinase inhibition by tetracycline analogues is now recognized as complex, and multiple mechanisms have been proposed. A series of recently discovered nonantimicrobial chemically modified tetracyclines are potent inhibitors of several classes of matrix metalloproteinases, preventing collagen breakdown and bone loss in a variety of animal models, although these analogues have not yet been approved for human use. Various tetracyclines have reduced the severity of osteoarthritis in animal models, indicating therapeutic potential for this class of compounds in the future.


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@article{Ryan1996PotentialOT, title={Potential of tetracyclines to modify cartilage breakdown in osteoarthritis.}, author={Maria Emanuel Ryan and Robert A. Greenwald and Lorne M. Golub}, journal={Current opinion in rheumatology}, year={1996}, volume={8 3}, pages={238-47} }