eCM (Eur Cell Mater / e Cells & Materials) Not-for-Profit Open Access
Created by Scientists, for Scientists
 ISSN:1473-2262         NLM:100973416 (link)         DOI:10.22203/eCM

2006   Volume No 12 – pages 49-56

Title: IL-1ß and BMPs - Interactive players of cartilage matrix degradation and regeneration

Author: T Aigner, S Soeder, J Haag

Address: Institute of Pathology, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany

E-mail: Thomas.Aigner at

Key Words: cartilage, matrix, cytokines, growth factors, osteoarthritis, anabolism, catabolism

Publication date: October 26th 2006

Abstract: Intact human adult articular cartilage is central for the functioning of the articulating joints. This largely depends on the integrity of its extracellular matrix, given the high loading forces during movements in particular in the weight-bearing joints. Unlike the first impression of a more or less static tissue, articular cartilage shows - albeit in the adult organism a slow - tissue turnover. Thus, one of the most important questions in osteoarthritis research is to understand the balance of catabolic and anabolic factors in articular cartilage as this is the key to understand the biology of cartilage maintenance and degeneration.
Anabolic and catabolic pathways are very much intermingled in articular cartilage. The balance between anabolism and catabolism is titrated on numerous levels, starting from the mediator-synthesizing cells which express either catabolic or anabolic factors. Also, on the level of the effector cells (i.e. chondrocytes) anabolic and catabolic gene expression compete for a balance of matrix homeostasis, namely the synthesis of matrix components and the expression and activation of matrix-degrading proteases. Also, there are multiple layers of intracellular cross-talks in between the anabolic and catabolic signalling pathways. Maybe the most important lesson from this overview is the notion that the anabolic-catabolic balance as such counts and not so much sufficient net anabolism or limited catabolism alone. Thus, it might be neither the aim of osteoarthritis therapy to foster anabolism nor to knock down catabolism, but the balance of anabolic-catabolic activities as a total might need proper titration and balancing.


Article download: Pages 49-56 (PDF file)
DOI: 10.22203/eCM.v012a06