Aging and inflammation are major contributing factors to the development and progression of arthritic and musculoskeletal diseases. "Inflammaging" refers to low-grade inflammation that occurs during physiological aging. In this paper we review the published literature on cartilage aging and propose the term "chondrosenescence" to define the age-dependent deterioration of chondrocyte function and how it undermines cartilage function in osteoarthritis. We propose the concept that a small number of senescent chondrocytes may be able to take advantage of the inflammatory tissue microenvironment and the inflammaging and immunosenescence that is concurrently occurring in the arthritic joint, further contributing to the age-related degradation of articular cartilage, subchondral bone, synovium and other tissues. In this new framework "chondrosenescence" is intimately linked with inflammaging and the disturbed interplay between autophagy and inflammasomes, thus contributing to the age-related increase in the prevalence of osteoarthritis and a decrease in the efficacy of articular cartilage repair. A better understanding of the basic mechanisms underlying chondrosenescence and its modification by drugs, weight loss, improved nutrition and physical exercise could lead to the development of new therapeutic and preventive strategies for osteoarthritis and a range of other age-related inflammatory joint diseases. Aging is inevitable but age-related diseases may be modifiable.
Keywords: Apoptosis; Cartilage; Chondrosenescence; Hallmark; Osteoarthritis.
Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.