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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 916530, 12 pages
Review Article

The Age-Related Changes in Cartilage and Osteoarthritis

1Department of Orthopaedics, The Second Hospital of Shanxi Medical University, 382 Wuyi Road, Taiyuan, Shanxi 030001, China
2Department of Orthopaedics, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital, 1 Hoppin Street, Providence, RI 02903, USA

Received 3 April 2013; Revised 7 June 2013; Accepted 9 June 2013

Academic Editor: Vijay K. Goel

Copyright © 2013 YongPing Li 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.


Osteoarthritis (OA) is closely associated with aging, but its underlying mechanism is unclear. Recent publications were reviewed to elucidate the connection between aging and OA. With increasing OA incidence, more senior people are facing heavy financial and social burdens. Age-related OA pathogenesis is not well understood. Recently, it has been realized that age-related changes in other tissues besides articular cartilage may also contribute to OA development. Many factors including senescence-related secretory phenotypes, chondrocytes’ low reactivity to growth factors, mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress, and abnormal accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) may all play key roles in the pathogenesis of age-related OA. Lately, epigenetic regulation of gene expression was recognized for its impact on age-related OA pathogenesis. Up to now, few studies have been reported about the role of miRNA and long-noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in age-related OA. Research focusing on this area may provide valuable insights into OA pathogenesis. OA-induced financial and social burdens have become an increasingly severe threat to older population. Age-related changes in noncartilage tissue should be incorporated in the understanding of OA development. Growing attention on oxidative stress and epigenetics will provide more important clues for the better understanding of the age-related OA.