Key Pathways to Prevent Posttraumatic Arthritis for Future Molecule-Based Therapy

Susan Chubinskaya, Markus A. Wimmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Joint injuries are common, especially among young adults aged 18 to 44 years. They are accompanied by a cascade of events that increase the risk of posttraumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). Therefore, understanding of biological responses that predispose to PTOA should help in determining treatment modalities to delay and/or prevent the onset and progression of the disease. The vast majority of the literature pointed to chondrocyte death and apoptosis, inflammation and matrix damage/fragmentation being the earliest events that follow joint trauma. Together these events lead to the development of osteoarthritis-like focal cartilage lesions that if untreated have a tendency to expand and progress to fully developed disease. Currently, the only treatments available for joint trauma are surgical interventions. Experimental biologic approaches involve engineering of cartilage with the use of cells (stem cells or chondrocytes), juvenile or adult cartilage pieces, scaffolds, and various polymeric matrices. The major challenge for all of them is regeneration of normal functional mature hyaline cartilage that can sustain the load, resist compression, and most important, integrate with the host tissue. If the tissue is spontaneously repaired it fails to reproduce original structure and function and thus, may be more susceptible to re-injury. Thus, there is a critical need to develop novel molecular mechanism-based therapeutic approaches to biologic chondral and/or osteochondral repair. The focus of this review is on the earliest molecular and cellular manifestations of injury that can be grouped based on the following therapeutic options for PTOA: chondroprotection, anti-inflammatory, matrix protection, and matrix remodeling/matrix synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13S-21S
Issue number3 SUPPL.
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • anabolic responses
  • anti-inflammatory
  • chondroprotection
  • matrix degradation
  • posttraumatic osteoarthritis
  • repair

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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