What is it about?

Zeel T (Ze14) is a multicomponent medicinal product based on natural extracts. Experiments on knee cartilage cells derived from patients with OA suggest that Ze14 could have favorable disease-modifying effects. Treating cells with Ze14 increased or decreased the expression of 13 genes. One of the genes upregulated by Ze14 was CCN1, which codes for a growth factor that promotes the formation of collagen and other building blocks of cartilage. Indeed, the amount of collagen was increased with Ze14, indicating that Ze14 promotes cartilage-building processes in cells from patients with OA. Ze14 also downregulated genes that promote the expression of MMP13, an enzyme that degrades cartilage; that suggests that Ze14 may limit cartilage degradation.

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Why is it important?

Osteoarthritis (OA)—the most common form of arthritis—causes moderate to severe pain in hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Despite advancements in OA research, first-line drugs remain analgesics and anti-inflammatories, which only treat symptoms and carry the risk of severe adverse effects. Drugs that stop the progression of OA and potentially regenerate cartilage are urgently needed. This study reports one possible candidate.


Due to the complexity of the disease, multitarget treatments appear as the more suitable to target the multiple pathological pathways associated with OA. Promoting the formation of cartilage extracellular matrix and decreasing its degradation seem to be very promising. These findings remain to be verified in patients with OA.

Dr Christelle Sanchez
Universite de Liege

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Reduction of Matrix Metallopeptidase 13 and Promotion of Chondrogenesis by Zeel T in Primary Human Osteoarthritic Chondrocytes, Frontiers in Pharmacology, May 2021, Frontiers,
DOI: 10.3389/fphar.2021.635034.
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