Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Orthop Rev (Pavia). 2009 Jun 30;1(1):e11. doi: 10.4081/or.2009.e11.

Novel information on the non-neuronal cholinergic system in orthopedics provides new possible treatment strategies for inflammatory and degenerative diseases.

Author information

Dept. of Integrative Medical Biology, Anatomy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden;


Anti-cholinergic agents are used in the treatment of several pathological conditions. Therapy regimens aimed at up-regulating cholinergic functions, such as treatment with acetylcholinesterase inhibitors, are also currently prescribed. It is now known that not only is there a neuronal cholinergic system but also a non-neuronal cholinergic system in various parts of the body. Therefore, interference with the effects of acetylcholine (ACh) brought about by the local production and release of ACh should also be considered. Locally produced ACh may have proliferative, angiogenic, wound-healing, and immunomodulatory functions. Interestingly, cholinergic stimulation may lead to anti-inflammatory effects. Within this review, new findings for the locomotor system of a more widespread non-neuronal cholinergic system than previously expected will be discussed in relation to possible new treatment strategies. The conditions discussed are painful and degenerative tendon disease (tendinopathy/tendinosis), rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis.


acetylcholine; osteoarthritis.; rheumatoid arthritis; tendinopathy; tendinosis

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center