While a great deal of information is available on the cellular and molecular biology of cartilage degradation, less is known about anabolism in normal cartilage and degenerating cartilage. A consistent amount of evidence is now available on the neo-synthesis of matrix molecules and enzymes in OA: the entire cell metabolism appears to be increased leading to the hypothesis that chondrocytes in OA are actually “activated”. This chapter will focus on anabolic events that are now known to occur in articular cartilage. We will begin to view articular cartilage as a complex three-dimensional tissue in which local events may be different. We will also be interested in viewing the development of degenerative arthritis as a continuum from functionally normal tissue to degeneration.
Keywords: Osteoarthritis, chondrocytes, anabolism, BMP-2, IL-1, neo-synthesis, cartilage, Type II collagen
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