The primary cilium as a dual sensor of mechanochemical signals in chondrocytes

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2012 Jul;69(13):2101-7. doi: 10.1007/s00018-011-0911-3. Epub 2012 Jan 13.


The primary cilium is an immotile, solitary, and microtubule-based structure that projects from cell surfaces into the extracellular environment. The primary cilium functions as a dual sensor, as mechanosensors and chemosensors. The primary cilia coordinate several essential cell signaling pathways that are mainly involved in cell division and differentiation. A primary cilium malfunction can result in several human diseases. Mechanical loading is sense by mechanosensitive cells in nearly all tissues and organs. With this sensation, the mechanical signal is further transduced into biochemical signals involving pathways such as Akt, PKA, FAK, ERK, and MAPK. In this review, we focus on the fundamental functional and structural features of primary cilia in chondrocytes and chondrogenic cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chondrocytes / cytology
  • Chondrocytes / physiology*
  • Cilia / physiology*
  • Cilia / ultrastructure
  • Humans
  • Mechanotransduction, Cellular / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*