Apoptosis in osteoarthritis: morphology, mechanisms, and potential means for therapeutic intervention.
Johnson, Elizabeth O.
Babis, George Ch
Soucacos, Panayotis N.
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Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common chronic joint disorder found in the aging population and is primarily characterized by loss of articular cartilage. Because chondrocytes are essential for maintaining the normal matrix of cartilage, a central hypothesis in ongoing studies of cartilage degeneration in OA has focused on the potential role of cell death. Today, chondrocytic death in OA has been examined in various studies, most of which report an increased amount of apoptotic cell death in OA cartilage. Although the role of apoptosis in OA is not yet clear, the mechanism of apoptosis may offer potentially useful therapeutic targets for the management of this insidious disease.