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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 Mar 2024 - 7 Mar 2024

2024 Mar

Biomater Biosyst



The role of inflammatory mediators and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) in the progression of osteoarthritis.


Mukherjee A, Das B


Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic musculoskeletal disorder characterized by an imbalance between (synthesis) and catabolism (degradation) in altered homeostasis of articular cartilage mediated primarily by the innate immune system. OA degenerates the joints resulting in synovial hyperplasia, degradation of articular cartilage with damage of the structural and functional integrity of the cartilage extracellular matrix, subchondral sclerosis, osteophyte formation, and is characterized by chronic pain, stiffness, and loss of function. Inflammation triggered by factors like biomechanical stress is involved in the development of osteoarthritis. In OA apart from catabolic effects, anti-inflammatory anabolic processes also occur continually. There is also an underlying chronic inflammation present, not only in cartilage tissue but also within the synovium, which perpetuates tissue destruction of the OA joint. The consideration of inflammation in OA considers synovitis and/or other cellular and molecular events in the synovium during the progression of OA. In this review, we have presented the progression of joint degradation that results in OA. The critical role of inflammation in the pathogenesis of OA is discussed in detail along with the dysregulation within the cytokine networks composed of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines that drive catabolic pathways, inhibit matrix synthesis, and promote cellular apoptosis. OA pathogenesis, fluctuation of synovitis, and its clinical impact on disease progression are presented here along with the role of synovial macrophages in promoting inflammatory and destructive responses in OA. The role of interplay between different cytokines, structure, and function of their receptors in the inter-cellular signaling pathway is further explored. The effect of cytokines in the increased synthesis and release of matrix-decomposing proteolytic enzymes, such as matrix metalloproteinase (MMPs) and a disintegrin-like and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motif (ADAMTS), is elaborated emphasizing the potential impact of MMPs on the chondrocytes, synovial cells, articular and periarticular tissues, and other immune system cells migrating to the site of inflammation. We also shed light on the pathogenesis of OA via oxidative damage particularly due to nitric oxide (NO) via its angiogenic response to inflammation. We concluded by presenting the current knowledge about the tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs). Synthetic MMP inhibitors include zinc binding group (ZBG), non-ZBG, and mechanism-based inhibitors, all of which have the potential to be therapeutically beneficial in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Improving our understanding of the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms that regulate the MMP gene expression, may open up new avenues for the creation of therapies that can stop the joint damage associated with OA.