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Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 764621, 14 pages
Review Article

A Review of Translational Animal Models for Knee Osteoarthritis

1School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA
2Missouri Orthopaedic Institute, 1100 Virginia Avenue, DC 953.00, Columbia, MO 65212, USA
3Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, USA

Received 10 August 2012; Revised 8 November 2012; Accepted 26 November 2012

Academic Editor: Paola Migliorini

Copyright © 2012 Martin H. Gregory 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.


Knee osteoarthritis remains a tremendous public health concern, both in terms of health-related quality of life and financial burden of disease. Translational research is a critical step towards understanding and mitigating the long-term effects of this disease process. Animal models provide practical and clinically relevant ways to study both the natural history and response to treatment of knee osteoarthritis. Many factors including size, cost, and method of inducing osteoarthritis are important considerations for choosing an appropriate animal model. Smaller animals are useful because of their ease of use and cost, while larger animals are advantageous because of their anatomical similarity to humans. This evidence-based review will compare and contrast several different animal models for knee osteoarthritis. Our goal is to inform the clinician about current research models, in order to facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the “bench” to the “bedside.”