Potential efficacy of dendritic cell immunomodulation in the treatment of osteoarthritis

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2021 Feb 1;60(2):507-517. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keaa745.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are a cluster of heterogeneous antigen-presenting cells that play a pivotal role in both innate and adaptive immune responses. Rare reports have discussed their role in OA immunopathogenesis. Recently, DCs derived from the synovial fluid of OA mice were shown to have increased expression of toll-like receptors. Moreover, from in vitro studies it was concluded that DCs derived from OA patients had secreted high levels of inflammatory cytokines. Likewise, a significant increase in CD123+BDCA-2 plasmacytoid DCs has been observed in the synovial fluid of OA patients. Furthermore, DCs have a peripheral tolerance potential and can become regulatory under specific circumstances. This could be exploited as a promising tool to eliminate immunoinflammatory manifestations in OA disease. In this review, the potential roles DCs could play in OA pathogenesis have been described. In addition, suggestions for the development of new immunotherapeutic strategies involving intra-articular injections of tolerogenic plasmacytoid DCs for treating OA inflammations have been made.

Keywords: OA; cartilage repair; dendritic cells; immunomodulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Disease Management*
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation*
  • Osteoarthritis / immunology
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis / therapy*


  • Cytokines