Events in Articular Chondrocytes With Aging

Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2011 Dec;9(4):196-201. doi: 10.1007/s11914-011-0070-3.


It is well accepted that aging is one of the most prominent risk factors for the initiation and progression of osteoarthritis. One of the most pronounced age-related changes in chondrocytes is the exhibition of a senescent phenotype, which is the result of several factors including the accumulation of reactive oxygen species and advanced glycation end products. Compared with a normal chondrocyte, senescent chondrocytes exhibit an impaired ability to respond to many mechanical and inflammatory insults to the articular cartilage. Furthermore, protein secretion is altered in aging chondrocytes, demonstrated by a decrease in anabolic activity and increased production of proinflammatory cytokines and matrix-degrading enzymes. Together, these events may make the articular cartilage matrix more susceptible to damage and lead to the onset of osteoarthritis. A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying age-related chondrocyte pathophysiology may be critical for the development of novel therapeutic interventions for progressive joint diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / pathology*
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Cellular Senescence / physiology
  • Chondrocytes / pathology*
  • Chondrocytes / physiology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Joints / pathology*
  • Joints / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors