Cartilage degeneration is a basic pathological feature of osteoarthritis (OA), and there is growing evidence that it is associated with inflammation. ACY-1215, a selective HDAC6 inhibitor, has been reported to have anti-inflammatory effects. Here, we investigated the anti-inflammatory and chondroprotective effects of ACY-1215 in IL-1 beta-stimulated human primary chondrocytes and C28/I2 cells. The results suggested that ACY-1215 can markedly suppress the expression of inflammatory factors, including IL-1 beta and IL-6 in human primary chondrocytes and C28/I2 cells. Furthermore, ACY-1215 exerts potent chondroprotection through the amelioration of cartilage degradation by inhibiting the expression of matrix-degrading proteases, including MMP-1 and MMP-13 in chondrocytes. These effects may be related to ACY-1215 induced down-regulation of NF-kappa B and STAT3 pathways in OA chondrocytes. Taken together, our results show that ACY-1215 may be a potential and promising therapeutic drug for the management of OA.