Vitis thunbergii Sieb. et Zucc. var. taiwaniana Lu (VT) is an indigenous plant in Taiwan that is traditionally used for promoting joint health. In this study, we used in vitro primary human chondrocytes (PHCs) and two in vivo animal models to evaluate the anti-inflammatory effects of VT on arthritis. Results showed that the water extract of the stems and roots from VT (VT-SR) was rich in flavones and phenols with 1.1mg/g of resveratrol, 6.7mg/g of hopeaphenol, and 5.1mg/g of (+)-viniferin. VT-SR significantly scavenged DPPH radicals and inhibited prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced PHCs without exhibiting significant cytotoxicity. In in vivo models, the VT-SR (500mg/kg) significantly decreased serum PGE2 and knee 2-18F-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose ( 18F-FDG) levels in LPS-induced acute inflammatory arthritis in rabbits. In addition, dietary supplementation with VT-SR for 28 days significantly alleviated type II collagenase-induced rat osteoarthritis with improvements in weight bearing and range of motion tests. In conclusion, our results suggest that the VT-SR is a good candidate for developing dietary supplements to prevent joint deterioration and inhibit inflammation.
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