"Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease of the entire joint that affects millions of people worldwide, becoming one of the most prevalent and costly diseases of our societies. OA is a particularly complex, disabling condition, as many risk factors have been associated with its incidence (aging, trauma, metabolic conditions, and genetic background).
OA is mostly characterized by a gradual, irreversible degeneration of the articular cartilage showing a loss of major extracellular matrix (ECM) components (proteoglycans, type-II collagen), with concomitant changes in the subchondral bone and synovium. Disturbances in cartilage homeostasis are believed to play determining roles in the pathogenesis and progression of OA.
Proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1, TNF-α) and adipokines (leptin, adiponectin, resistin) locally produced by the inflamed synovium, infrapatellar fat pad, osteophytes, or by the chondrocytes themselves may all contribute to the pathophysiology of OA"