In this in-vitro research, cultures of mouse chondrocytes were exposed to 4X, 30X, 30C and 200C homoeopathic potencies of Rhus toxicodendron. Assessments were then made of the expression of collagen type II, a marker protein of chondrocytes, and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), which is responsible for the biosynthesis of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and the regulation of the inflammatory response, using biochemical and immunological methods such as reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), quantitative (or real-time) RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunoblot assays. The anti-inflammatory effects of the remedies were significant. All of the Rhus tox potencies, most notably the 30X, increased the mRNA expression of COX-2, and mRNA expression in both RT-PCR and qRT-PCR analyses. The 4X, 30X and 30C potencies inhibited collagen type II expression, suggesting that Rhus tox induced the dedifferentiation of chondrocytes. In addition, treatment with 30X Rhus tox significantly increased PGE2 release compared with other homoeopathic dilutions of Rhus tox.
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