The use of dietary supplements as an alternative treatment for joint-related pathologies such as osteoarthritis (OA) is increasing. However, there is little scientific evidence to support the intended use. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of creatine- and amino acid-based supplements in primary cultured canine chondrocytes (CnCs) as an in-vitro model of OA and compare the effects to more commonly used agents, such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), carprofen, and the joint supplement, glucosamine (GS). CnCs were stimulated with interleukin-1β (IL-1β) and the subsequent release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) was measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Changes in oxylipins were also assessed using high-performance liquid chromatography/tandem mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS/MS). All compounds examined were able to significantly reduce the release of PGE2 and TNFα and were associated with reductions in cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB) phosphorylation. The creatine- and amino acids-based supplements also altered the profile of oxylipins produced. All compounds examined were less effective at reducing the release of PGE2 than carprofen. Carprofen significantly increased release of TNFα from CnCs, however, while the other agents reduced TNFα release. This study suggests that creatine- and amino acid-based supplements may have a beneficial role in preventing inflammation within the joint and that further studies are warranted.
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