Cell biology of osteoarthritis: The chondrocyte’s response to injury

N. Fukui, C. R. Purple, L. J. Sandell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Cartilage is comprised of a large amount of functional extracellular matrix that is made and maintained by a small number of chondrocytes, the sole resident cell type. Normal cartilage exists in a relatively steady state: that is, the anabolic processes (those that result in the synthesis of cartilage matrix components) are in equilibrium with the catabolic processes (those that result in the normal turnover of matrix molecules). If the functional extracellular matrix is disturbed by physical or molecular means, the cells respond in an attempt to repair the matrix. This stimulated activity does not result in repair due to the extent and complexity of the extracellular matrix. Eventually, the newly synthesized and activated catabolic enzymes degrade the matrix components. This review presents the cellular and molecular mechanisms that account for this activity and provides some possible solutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)496-505
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent rheumatology reports
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2001


  • Articular Cartilage
  • Articular Chondrocytes
  • Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Osteoarthritis Cartilage


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