Wnt signaling in cartilage development and degeneration

BMB Rep. 2008 Jul 31;41(7):485-94. doi: 10.5483/bmbrep.2008.41.7.485.


The Wnt signaling network, which is composed of Wnt ligands, receptors, antagonists, and intracellular signaling molecules, has emerged as a powerful regulator of cell fate, proliferation, and function in multicellular organisms. Over the past two decades, the critical role of Wnt signaling in embryonic cartilage and bone development has been well established, and much has been learnt regarding the role of Wnt signaling in chondrogenesis and cartilage development. However, relatively little is known about the role of Wnt signaling in adult articular cartilage and degenerative cartilage tissue. This review will briefly summarize recent advances in Wnt regulation of chondrogenesis and hypertrophic maturation of chondrocytes, and review data concerning the role of Wnt signaling in the maintenance and degeneration of articular chondrocytes and cartilage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cartilage / embryology
  • Cartilage / growth & development
  • Cartilage Diseases / etiology*
  • Cartilage Diseases / genetics
  • Chondrocytes / physiology
  • Chondrogenesis / genetics
  • Chondrogenesis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Osteoarthritis / etiology
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • Signal Transduction / physiology
  • Wnt Proteins / genetics
  • Wnt Proteins / physiology*


  • Wnt Proteins