Osteoarthritis (OA) is an age-related disease with poorly understood pathogenesis. Recent studies have demonstrated that miRNA might play a key role in OA initiation and development. We reviewed recent publications and elucidated the connection between miRNA and OA cartilage anabolic and catabolic signals, including four signaling pathways: TGF-β/Smads and BMPs signaling, associated with cartilage anabolism; and MAPK and NF-KB signaling, associated with cartilage catabolism. We also explored the relationships with MMP, ADAMTS and NOS (NitricOxide Synthases) families, as well as with the catabolic cytokines IL-1 and TNF-α. The potential role of miRNAs in biological processes such as cartilage degeneration, chondrocyte proliferation, and differentiation is discussed. Collective evidence indicates that miRNAs play a critical role in cartilage degeneration. These findings will aid in understanding the molecular network that governs articular cartilage homeostasis and in to elucidate the role of miRNA in the pathogenesis of OA.
Keywords: miRNA, Cartilage, Homeostasis, Osteoarthritis, Chondrocytes.