The potential role of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cartilage: how the angiogenic factor could be involved in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2008 Mar;16(3):279-86. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2007.09.003. Epub 2007 Oct 22.


Although adult human cartilage is physiologically avascular tissue, angiogenesis can be observed during the process of endochondral bone development. Inflammation in articular joints can also lead to neovascularization in cartilage. In such conditions, the expression of angiogenic factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), has been shown to play a key role, controlling not only angiogenesis but also chondrocyte metabolism. Here we review recent research findings concerning the potential role of VEGF in cartilage, focusing in particular on its possible involvement in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Bone Development / physiology
  • Cartilage, Articular / blood supply
  • Cartilage, Articular / metabolism*
  • Cell Survival / physiology
  • Chondrocytes / chemistry
  • Chondrocytes / cytology*
  • Chondrocytes / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / pathology
  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1 / physiology
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic / physiology*
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology*
  • Osteophyte / pathology
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / physiology*


  • Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A