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Arthritis Res. 2001;3(2):107-13. Epub 2001 Jan 22.

Articular cartilage and changes in arthritis. An introduction: cell biology of osteoarthritis.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 216 South Kingshighway, St Louis, MO 63110, USA. sandelll@msnotes.wustl.edu

Abstract

The reaction patterns of chondrocytes in osteoarthritis can be summarized in five categories: (1) proliferation and cell death (apoptosis); changes in (2) synthetic activity and (3) degradation; (4) phenotypic modulation of the articular chondrocytes; and (5) formation of osteophytes. In osteoarthritis, the primary responses are reinitiation of synthesis of cartilage macromolecules, the initiation of synthesis of types IIA and III procollagens as markers of a more primitive phenotype, and synthesis of active proteolytic enzymes. Reversion to a fibroblast-like phenotype, known as "dedifferentiation", does not appear to be an important component. Proliferation plays a role in forming characteristic chondrocyte clusters near the surface, while apoptosis probably occurs primarily in the calcified cartilage.

PMID:
11178118
PMCID:
PMC128887
DOI:
10.1186/ar148
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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