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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2017, Article ID 3720128, 16 pages
Review Article

MicroRNAs and Autophagy: Fine Players in the Control of Chondrocyte Homeostatic Activities in Osteoarthritis

1Dipartimento di Scienze Biomediche e Neuromotorie, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
2Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche e Chirurgiche, Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
3Laboratorio di Immunoreumatologia e Rigenerazione Tissutale, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Bologna, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Silvia Cetrullo; ti.obinu@ollurtec.aivlis

Received 24 February 2017; Revised 12 May 2017; Accepted 22 May 2017; Published 21 June 2017

Academic Editor: Kotb Abdelmohsen

Copyright © 2017 Stefania D’Adamo 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 debilitating degenerative disease of the articular cartilage with a multifactorial etiology. Aging, the main risk factor for OA development, is associated with a systemic oxidative and inflammatory phenotype. Autophagy is a central housekeeping system that plays an antiaging role by supporting the clearance of senescence-associated alterations of macromolecules and organelles. Autophagy deficiency has been related to OA pathogenesis because of the accumulation of cellular defects in chondrocytes. Microribonucleic acids (microRNAs or miRs) are a well-established class of posttranscriptional modulators belonging to the family of noncoding RNAs that have been identified as key players in the regulation of cellular processes, such as autophagy, by targeting their own cognate mRNAs. Here, we present a state-of-the-art literature review on the role of miRs and autophagy in the scenario of OA pathogenesis. In addition, a comprehensive survey has been performed on the functional connections of the miR network and the autophagy pathway in OA by using “microRNA,” “autophagy,” and “osteoarthritis” as key words. Discussion of available evidence sheds light on some aspects that need further investigation in order to reach a more comprehensive view of the potential of this topic in OA.