DEX Pre and post treatment. A, Cumulative GAG loss and B, sulfate incorporation (measured in the last two days) from bovine cartilage samples pre-treated with 10 nM DEX for two days prior to a four-day TNFα treatment. On Day 4, Cartilage samples pre-incubated with DEX released significantly less GAG, and showed significantly higher proteoglycan synthesis in the TNFα treatment compared to samples without DEX pre-treatment. C, Cumulative GAG loss and D, sulfate incorporation (measured in the last two days) in bovine cartilage samples treated with TNFα, in the presence or absence of 10 nM DEX, with a two-day pre-exposure to TNFα. DEX treatment introduced after the TNFα pre-treatment showed significantly reduced GAG loss and increased sulfate incorporation on Day 4. In each condition, n = 5 cartilage disks. * = P < 0.05 (only comparing the GAG loss difference between conditions on Day 4). DEX: dexamethasone; GAG: glycosaminoglycans; TNFα: tumour necrosis factor alpha.