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Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 203901, 8 pages
Review Article

Adipokines and Osteoarthritis: Novel Molecules Involved in the Pathogenesis and Progression of Disease

SERGAS, NEIRID Lab (Laboratory of NeuroEndocrine Interaction in Rheumatology and Inflammatory Diseases), Institute of Medical Research (IDIS), Santiago University Clinical Hospital Building C, Level-2, 15706 Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Received 6 May 2011; Accepted 10 June 2011

Academic Editor: Hiroshi Kawaguchi

Copyright © 2011 Javier Conde et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Obesity has been considered a risk factor for osteoarthritis and it is usually accepted that obesity contributes to the development and progression of osteoarthritis by increasing mechanical load of the joints. Nevertheless, recent advances in the physiology of white adipose tissue evidenced that fat cells produce a plethora of factors, called adipokines, which have a critical role in the development of ostearthritis, besides to mechanical effects. In this paper, we review the role of adipokines and highlight the cellular and molecular mechanisms at play in osteoarthritis elicited by adipokines. We also emphasize how defining the role of adipokines has broadned our understanding of the diversity of factors involved in the genesis and progression of osteoarthritis in the hope of modifying it to prevent and treat diseases.