Metabolic stress-induced joint inflammation and osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2015 Nov;23(11):1955-65. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.05.016. Epub 2015 May 30.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a heterogeneous disorder with several risk factors. Among them, obesity has a major impact on both loading and non-loading joints. Mechanical overload and activity of systemic inflammatory mediators derived from adipose tissue (adipokines, free fatty acids (FFA), reactive oxygen species (ROS)) provide clues to the increased incidence and prevalence of OA in obesity. Recently, research found greater OA prevalence and incidence in obese patients with cardiometabolic disturbances than "healthy" obese patients, which led to the description of a new OA phenotype - metabolic syndrome (MetS)-associated OA. Indeed, individual metabolic factors (diabetes, dyslipidemia, and hypertension) may increase the risk of obesity-induced OA. This review discusses hypotheses based on pathways specific to a metabolic factor in MetS-associated OA, such as the role of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and glucose toxicity. A better understanding of these phenotypes based on risk factors will be critical for designing trials of this specific subset of OA.

Keywords: Adipokines; Inflammation; Metabolic syndrome; Obesity; Osteoarthritis; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adipokines / metabolism*
  • Adipose Tissue / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism*
  • Osteoarthritis / pathology
  • Stress, Physiological*


  • Adipokines