Basic science of osteoarthritis.
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a prevalent, disabling disorder of the joints that affects a large population worldwide and for which there is no definitive cure. This review provides critical insights into the basic knowledge on OA that may lead to innovative end efficient new therapeutic regimens. While degradation of the articular cartilage is the hallmark of OA, with altered interactions between chondrocytes and compounds of the extracellular matrix, the subchondral bone has been also described as a key component of the disease, involving specific pathomechanisms controlling its initiation and progression. The identification of such events (and thus of possible targets for therapy) has been made possible by the availability of a number of animal models that aim at reproducing the human pathology, in particular large models of high tibial osteotomy (HTO). From a therapeutic point of view, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a promising option for the treatment of OA and may be used concomitantly with functional substitutes integrating scaffolds and drugs/growth factors in tissue engineering setups. Altogether, these advances in the fundamental and experimental knowledge on OA may allow for the generation of improved, adapted therapeutic regimens to treat human OA.