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Objective: Interleukin-1 (IL-1)b in articular chondrocytes regulates differentiation, apoptosis, and inflammatory responses. It is still controversial, So, we investigated IL-1b induces chondrocytes dedifferentiation and death. Also, we studied the role of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) subtypes on IL-1b-induced dedifferentiation and apoptosis. Methods : To evaluation of dedifferentiation by chemokines of chondrocytes, we assessed such as proteoglycan, collagen, MMP-3 and MMP-13 by RT-PCR analysis. Also, to assess of apoptosis effect by chemokines, we measured annexin V/Propidium iodode (PI) and sub G1 cells in chondrocytes by flowcytometric analysis. Results : IL-1b treatment did not affect activation of ERK-1/2, but stimulation of p38 kinase. Inhibition of phospho ERK-1/2 with PD98059 enhanced IL-1b-induced dedifferentiation, and apoptosis up to 13.5%, whereas inhibition of phospho p38 kinase with SB203580 inhibited dedifferentiation, and apoptosis. Conclusions: Our results indicate that SB203580, p38 kinase inhibitor, inhibits IL-1b-induced dedifferentiation, and apoptosis by the inhibition of type II collagen expression and proteoglycan synthesis of rabbit articular chondrocytes.