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Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 505842, 9 pages
Clinical Study

A Synoviocyte Model for Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid Arthritis: Response to Ibuprofen, Betamethasone, and Ginger Extract—A Cross-Sectional In Vitro Study

1Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, Nordre Fasanvej 57, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
2Institute for Informatics and Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark, 2800 Lyngby, Denmark
3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Copenhagen University Hospital Bispebjerg and Frederiksberg, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
4School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 2, 2100 København Ø, Denmark
5Faculty of Health Science, University of Copenhagen, 2200 Copenhagen N, Denmark
6Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction, Aalborg University, 9220 Aalborg, Denmark

Received 3 August 2012; Revised 26 November 2012; Accepted 11 December 2012

Academic Editor: Marco Amedeo Cimmino

Copyright © 2012 Søren Ribel-Madsen et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed at determining if synovial cell cultures from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), and healthy controls (HC) differ and are suitable disease models in pharmacological studies, and tested their response to some anti-inflammatory drugs. Synovial cells were isolated from synovial membrane or joint fluid. Cells were cultivated and exposed to no or TNF-α stimulation without, or in the presence of, betamethasone, ibuprofen, or a standardized ginger extract. Concentrations of a panel of cytokines, growth factors, and chemokines were mapped for each culture and condition. Our cells secreted an increased amount of the cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 in response to TNF-α stimulation in all conditions. OA cells showed a higher IL-6 and IL-8 and a lower IL-1β production, when not stimulated, than RA and HC cells, which were similar. TNF-α stimulation caused similar IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-8 release in all groups. Ibuprofen showed no effect on cytokine production, while ginger extract was similar to betamethasone. Ginger extract was as effective an anti-inflammatory agent as betamethasone in this in vitro model. Cultured fibroblast-like synoviocytes from OA and RA subjects promise to be a useful pharmacological disease model, but further studies, to support results from such a model are needed.