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To explore the in vivo effects of PD-0200347, an α2δ ligand of voltage gated Ca2+ channels, on cell signalling in osteoarthritic (OA) chondrocytes from an experimental dog model, and examine the effect of PD-0200347 on the major signalling pathways involved in OA cartilage degradation.OA was surgically induced in dogs by sectioning the anterior cruciate ligament. OA dogs were divided into three groups and treated orally with (a) placebo; (b) 15 mg/kg/day PD-0200347, or (c) 90 mg/kg/day PD-0200347. The animals were killed 12 weeks after surgery. Cartilage specimens from femoral condyles and tibial plateaus were processed for immunohistochemistry. Specific antibodies against the phosphorylated form of PKCα, Ras, c-Raf, the MAP kinases Erk1/2, p38, JNK, and the transcription factors, CREB and Elk-1, were used.Levels of all the tested signalling mediators were increased in the placebo treated (OA) group compared with the normal group. PD-0200347 treatment significantly reduced the levels of the active forms of PKCα, c-Raf, Erk1/2, and Elk-1; however, the levels of the active forms of Ras, p38, JNK, and CREB were not affected by the PD-0200347 treatment.The action of PD-0200347 on OA chondrocytes is probably mediated through the inhibition of Erk1/2 activation via a Ras independent mechanism. This effect is associated with reduction of the activation of transcription factors such as Elk-1, which leads to the inhibition of the induction of the major catabolic factors involved in the degradation process of OA cartilage.