DEX treatment reduces chondrocyte cell numbers. A) Primary mouse chondrocytes were plated at a density of 100,000 cells/well, incubated with DMSO or 10-6 or 10-7 M DEX for 72 hours and counted. While cell numbers in control conditions (DMSO) increased 3.5-fold over the culture period, DEX treatment at both concentrations significantly reduced this increase. Data present averages and standard deviations from three independent experiments, performed in triplicate each (*P < 0.05). B) Primary chondrocytes were incubated with DMSO or 10-7 M DEX for 72 hours, and mRNA levels for collagen II and collagen X genes were analyzed by real-time PCR. Neither gene was affected significantly by DEX. Data represent mean ± SEM from three independent trials.