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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2005 Jan-Feb;23(1):103-12.

Overview of studies comparing human normal cartilage with minimal and advanced osteoarthritic cartilage.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Rootstown 44272, USA.


A major area under study in the osteoarthritis (OA) research field is the characterization of specific molecular and biochemical changes that distinguish advanced diseased cartilage from less involved or normal tissue. This information is important to better define the pathogenic mechanisms that are operating during OA progression and to identify disease-specific markers. This review describes recent studies that have addressed changes in chondrocyte gene expression, proliferation, and apoptosis in "experimental" (more advanced OA cartilage) versus "control" (less involved or non-OA cartilage). Included is a comprehensive listing of recently published studies in this area with general findings. The review also includes a discussion of study design and the strengths and weaknesses of the various approaches. In addition, specific strategies to deal with some of the important issues are discussed. One particular model utilizing minimal and advanced OA cartilage obtained from the same patient is described in more detail.

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