According to the Chinese medicine, magnoflorine exerted significant anti-inflammatory effects and potentially promoted synthesis of proteoglycans in chondrocytes to reverse the progression of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the latent beneficial effect of magnoflorine for the treatment of traumatic osteoarthritis (OA) is still unknown. Therefore, we aim to demonstrate the efficacy of magnoflorine combined with HA-gel in attenuating cartilage degeneration in anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) induced OA rat model. We found that the histological results showed the elevated cartilage matrix, chondrogenic signals and chondroprogenitor cells in HA-gel + magnoflorine treatment. HA-gel + magnoflorine treatment resulted in a decreased modified Mankin’s score, and a higher volume ratio of hyaline cartilage (HC)/calcified cartilage (CC) and HC/Sum (whole cartilage), compared to ACLT and HA-gel groups. Furthermore, both the volume ratios of HC/Sum and HC/CC were negatively correlated with modified Mankin’s scores. Finally, HA-gel + magnoflorine could significantly increase the BV/TV, Tb.Th, and decrease the Tb.Pf, Po(tot), Conn.Dn and Tb.Sp. In vitro, 50 μg/ml magnoflorine treatment could significantly increase the viability, S-phase, migration rate and chondrogenesis of chondroprogenitor cells. There were significant downregulations of MAPK/NF-κB signaling, and upregulations of chondrogenic signals in 50 μg/ml magnoflorine treatment. There were significant downregulations of proinflammatory cytokines and upregulation of IL-10 in HA-gel + magnoflorine treated group. Therefore, our study elucidated a protective effect of HA-gel + magnoflorine on attenuating cartilage degradation and maintaining SCB stabilization in ACLT induced OA.Copyright © 2019. Published by Elsevier Masson SAS.