Effect of DEX on human knee cartilage treated with TNFα and TNFα in combination with injury and IL-6/sIL-6R. The percentage of GAG loss was measured from 10-day treatments. All cartilage disks included superficial surface. The total GAG content was 168.9 ± 17.1 μg GAG/disk in the untreated control group. 100 nM DEX significantly reduced GAG release induced by treatments with TNFα, IL-6/sIL-6R and mechanical injury. In each condition, n = 6 cartilage disks. * = P < 0.05 (only comparisons from selected hypothesis are shown). DEX, dexamethasone; GAG, glycosaminoglycans; IL-6, interleukin-6; sIL-6R, soluble interleukin-6 receptor; TNFα, tumor necrosis factor alpha.