Background & objectives: Increased severity of osteoarthritis (OA) and adverse side effects of its treatment led to the search for alternative therapies. It was previously reported that snake venom protein toxin Naja kaouthia cytotoxin 1 (NKCT1) and gold nanoparticle (GNP) individually have potential against excremental arthritis. In this study, we analyzed the protective activity of GNP conjugated protein toxin NKCT1 (GNP-NKCT1) against experimental OA. Methods: Gold nanoparticle conjugation with NKCT1 (GNP-NKCT1) was done and its physiochemical properties were studied. OA was induced in male albino rats by intra-articular injection of bacterial collagenase and treatment was done with NKCT1/GNP-NKCT1/standard drug (indomethacin). Physical parameter (ankle diameter), urinary markers (hydroxyproline, glucosamine, pyridinoline, deoxypyridinoline), serum and synovial membrane pro-inflammatory markers [tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1β (IL-1β), IL-17, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)] and matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1) were measured. Joint histopathology and scanning electron microscopy imaging of articular cartilage surface were also done. Results: Physical parameters, urinary markers, serum and synovial membrane pro-inflammatory makers and MMP1 were increased in arthritic rats and significantly restored after GNP-NKCT1/ NKCT1 treatment. Joint histopathology and scanning electron microscopy imaging of articular cartilage surface also indicated the protective effect of GNP-NKCT1 against inflammatory response and cartilage degradation in osteoarthritic rats. Interpretation & conclusions: In this study restoration of the arthritic markers and bone degradation by GNP-NKCT1 treatment indicated the anti-osteoarthritic property of GNP-NKCT1. Further studies need to be done to confirm these findings. © 2017, Indian Council of Medical Research. All rights reserved.