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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 236179, 13 pages
Review Article

MicroRNAs’ Involvement in Osteoarthritis and the Prospects for Treatments

Institute of Orthopedics, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Beijing 100853, China

Received 2 June 2015; Accepted 29 September 2015

Academic Editor: Settimio Grimaldi

Copyright © 2015 Xiao-Ming Yu 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 a chronic disease and its etiology is complex. With increasing OA incidence, more and more people are facing heavy financial and social burdens from the disease. Genetics-related aspects of OA pathogenesis are not well understood. Recent reports have examined the molecular mechanisms and genes related to OA. It has been realized that genetic changes in articular cartilage and bone may contribute to OA’s development. Osteoclasts, osteoblasts, osteocytes, and chondrocytes in joints must express appropriate genes to achieve tissue homeostasis, and errors in this can cause OA. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that have been discovered to be overarching regulators of gene expression. Their ability to repress many target genes and their target-binding specificity indicate a complex network of interactions, which is still being defined. Many studies have focused on the role of miRNAs in bone and cartilage and have identified numbers of miRNAs that play important roles in regulating bone and cartilage homeostasis. Those miRNAs may also be involved in the pathology of OA, which is the focus of this review. Future studies on the role of miRNAs in OA will provide important clues leading to a better understanding of the mechanism(s) of OA and, more particularly, to the development of therapeutic targets for OA.