Osteoarthritis (OA) is a debilitating and painful orthopedic joint disease, affecting over 20
million people in the United States and is characterized by the degeneration of cartilage at the articulating
surfaces of bones and inflammation of joint capsule. While the field of orthopedic research has
progressed immensely in the previous decades, understanding of suitable targets for therapeutic techniques
for treating or preventing OA is severely lacking in current clinical methods. Genetic regulation
of the catabolic enzymes and anabolic proteins that characterize OA begins in the cytosol of the chondrocyte
by short non-coding microRNAs (miRNAs). Proper regulation of miRNAs has shown to be critical to maintain
healthy cartilage. In this review, we outline the various miRNAs that have the potential to act as targets or therapies for
OA and its symptoms. We conclude with a brief discussion the current and potential methods of delivering miRNA to
joint tissues via intra-articular injection, and the challenges of miRNA therapeutics translating clinically.
Keywords: Cartilage degeneration, intra-articular therapy, MicroRNA, MicroRNA delivery, MicroRNA therapy, osteoarthritis.
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