Although the individual effects of hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) and low-intensity pulsed ultrasound (LIPUS) on osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes have been reported, the effects of HBO combined with LIPUS treatment are unknown. OA chondrocytes were obtained from patients undergoing knee replacement surgery. RNA was isolated for real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), type-II collagen, and aggrecan gene expression. The protein levels of MMP-3 and TIMP-1 were quantified by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) after LIPUS or HBO treatment. The data are given as mean ± standard deviation (SD) of the results from three independent experiments. A p value less than 0.05 was defined as statistically significant. Our data suggested that ultrasound and HBO treatment increased cell bioactivity of OA chondrocytes. Real-time PCR analysis showed that HBO treatment increased the mRNA of type-II collagen, aggrecan, and TIMP-1 but suppressed the iNOS expression of OA chondrocytes. LIPUS treatment increased the type-II collagen and iNOS expression of OA chondrocytes. ELISA data showed that HBO or LIPUS treatment increased TIMP-1 production of OA chondrocyte. MMP-3 production was suppressed by HBO treatment. HBO combined with LIPUS treatments resulted in additive effect in TIMP-1 production and compensatory effect in iNOS expression. HBO combined with LIPUS treatment-induced increase of the anabolic factor (TIMP-1)/catabolic factor (MMP-3) ratio may provide an additive therapeutic approach to slow the course of OA degeneration.

Yuan, Niu, Lin, Yang, Chan, Chen, Ueng, , (2014). Effects of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound and hyperbaric oxygen on human osteoarthritic chondrocytes. Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research, 2014 Feb;9():5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24499626