Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Rev Rheumatol. 2017 May;13(5):302-311. doi: 10.1038/nrrheum.2017.50. Epub 2017 Apr 6.

The role of metabolism in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.

Author information

Department of Veterinary Preclinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7AL, UK.
Arthritis Research UK Centre for Sport, Exercise and Osteoarthritis and MRC Arthritis Research UK Centre for Musculoskeletal Ageing Research, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.
Department of Nutritional Sciences, School of Biosciences and Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH, UK.
SERGAS (Servizo Galego de Saude) and IDIS (Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria de Santiago), The NEIRID Group (Neuroendocrine Interactions in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Santiago University Clinical Hospital, Building C, Travesia da Choupana S/N, Santiago de Compostela 15706, Spain.
Department of Rheumatology, Inflammation-Immunopathology-Biotherapy Department (DHU i2B), Saint-Antoine Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris (APHP), 184 Rue de Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75012 Paris, France.
Inflammation-Immunopathology-Biotherapy Department (DHU i2B), INSERM, UMR S938, Sorbonne University, University of Paris 6, 75005 Paris, France.
Department of Rheumatology, Experimental Rheumatology, Radboud University Medical Center, Geert Grooteplein 26-28, 6500 HB Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Department of Molecular Rheumatology, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, College Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.


Metabolism is important for cartilage and synovial joint function. Under adverse microenvironmental conditions, mammalian cells undergo a switch in cell metabolism from a resting regulatory state to a highly metabolically activate state to maintain energy homeostasis. This phenomenon also leads to an increase in metabolic intermediates for the biosynthesis of inflammatory and degradative proteins, which in turn activate key transcription factors and inflammatory signalling pathways involved in catabolic processes, and the persistent perpetuation of drivers of pathogenesis. In the past few years, several studies have demonstrated that metabolism has a key role in inflammatory joint diseases. In particular, metabolism is drastically altered in osteoarthritis (OA) and aberrant immunometabolism may be a key feature of many phenotypes of OA. This Review focuses on aberrant metabolism in the pathogenesis of OA, summarizing the current state of knowledge on the role of impaired metabolism in the cells of the osteoarthritic joint. We also highlight areas for future research, such as the potential to target metabolic pathways and mediators therapeutically.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center