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Sci Aging Knowledge Environ. 2004 Jul 21;2004(29):pe31.

Aging cartilage and osteoarthritis--what's the link?

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Rush Medical College, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA. rloeser@rush.edu


Cartilage aging can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis (OA), the most common cause of chronic pain and disability in older adults. Articular cartilage is a unique tissue from the perspective of aging in that the cells (chondrocytes) and the majority of the extracellular matrix proteins experience little turnover, resulting in a tissue that must withstand years of use and can also accumulate years of aging-associated changes. Accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) occurs in cartilage, and the potential role of AGEs in the development of OA is being investigated. An age-associated reduction in growth factor signaling and an increase in oxidative stress may also play an important role in the age-OA connection. Further elucidation of mechanisms that affect chondrocyte function with aging should lead to novel interventions designed to slow the aging process in cartilage with the goal of preventing age-associated OA.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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