Lipid peroxidation, glutathione, vitamin E, and antioxidant enzymes in synovial fluid from patients with osteoarthritis


Werasak Sutipornpalangkul, Department of Orthopaedic, Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok 10700, Thailand. Email:


Aim:  To compare levels of lipid peroxidation and antioxidants in synovial fluid from primary knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients with severe cartilage damage undergoing total knee replacement with those in the synovial fluid from injured knee joint patients with intact cartilage undergoing knee arthroscopy.

Methods:  Thirty-two OA patients and 10 injured knee joint patients were recruited. Lipid peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances [TBARs]), iron and glutathione (GSH) were measured using a colorimetric method. Vitamin E was measured with high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Activities of antioxidant enzymes (glutathione peroxidase [GPx], superoxide dismutase [SOD]) were analyzed with the use of a kinetic method.

Results:  TBARs, iron and GSH levels in synovial fluid were not significantly different between OA patients and injured knee joint patients. Antioxidant enzymes such as GPx and SOD activities also indicated no significant difference. Only vitamin E level was significantly lower in the synovial fluid of OA patients than in that of the injured knee joint patients.

Conclusions:  Oxidative stress may have a role in pathogenesis of knee osteoarthritis. Vitamin E supplementation may have a role in the management of patients.