The effects of resveratrol on osteoarthritis (OA) pathogenesis have been demonstrated in vitro
and in animal models employing intra-articular injections. However, the potential for oral resveratrol supplements to mediate protective effects on OA have not been examined. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the potential anti-OA effects of oral resveratrol on mice fed a high-fat diet (HFD). C57BL/6J male mice were fed either a standard diet or a HFD, and a subset of the latter also received varying doses of resveratrol. Twelve weeks later, all of the animals were sacrificed and knee joints were evaluated with histological, immunohistochemical, and TUNEL analyses. Mice that received a HFD had significantly greater body weights than the control mice and also exhibited features consistent with knee OA. The mice that received a HFD in combination with low, intermediate, or high doses of resveratrol were only slightly heavier than the control mice at the end of 12 weeks. Quantitative histological assessments indicated that resveratrol treatment partly recovered joint structure in the mice that received a HFD, while high doses of resveratrol prevented the degradation of type II collagen into C-telopeptide of type II collagen (CTX-II) and retained type II collagen expression in cartilage. Furthermore, TUNEL analyses revealed a reduction in chondrocyte apoptosis in the resveratrol-treated mice compared with the HFD mice. Thus, oral resveratrol appears to exert anti-OA effects in a mouse model of HFD-induced OA, thereby highlighting the potential preventive and therapeutic value of administering resveratrol for obesity-associated OA.
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