Antioxidant to treat osteoarthritis: dream or reality?

Curr Drug Targets. 2007 Feb;8(2):347-57. doi: 10.2174/138945007779940151.


Osteoarthritis is one of the most common chronic diseases that causes pain and physical disability in patient. Although OA is considered as a global disease affecting all joint tissues, cartilage degradation is the end point. The degradation of cartilage results of the combination of mechanical stress and biochemical factors, mainly metalloproteinases and reactive oxygen species (ROS). The activity of reactive oxygen species is balanced by enzymatic and non-enzymatic antioxidants, that act by inhibiting oxidative enzymes, scavenging free radicals or chelating ion metals. Until now, few information is available on the antioxidative status of chondrocytes. Further, the modification of the antioxidative system in osteoarthritis remains unknown. Some antioxidant supplements or drugs with antioxidant properties have been developed to reinforce the cellular antioxidant status. However, until now, there is no consistent evidence that additional antioxidant supply is efficient to relieve OA symptoms or to prevent structural changes in OA cartilage.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Cartilage / metabolism
  • Cartilage / pathology
  • Humans
  • Osteoarthritis / drug therapy*
  • Osteoarthritis / enzymology
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Antioxidants
  • Reactive Oxygen Species