About this Research Topic
Although the pathophysiology of Osteoarthritis (OA) is poorly understood and there are many aspects that still remain to be elucidated, it is becoming increasingly accepted that low-grade inflammatory mechanisms are relevant not only to pain and disability but also to joint damage in this disease. Persistent synovitis as well as damage to the subchondral bone have been considered to play major roles in joint destruction, particularly in knee OA.
More recently, the association of meniscal damage to disease progression called into attention that apart from mechanical issues, the menisci may also participate in the inflammatory scenario of joints affected by OA. Synovial cells, particularly type A macrophage-like synoviocytes, are likely to be the major source of inflammatory mediators inside the joint. Moreover, there are differences in their profile of pro-inflammatory cytokine production, an issue that may be relevant not only to targeted therapies but also to discriminate phenotypes of different mechanisms of arthritis. Early OA biomarkers are a major unmet need.
Apart from their role in pathophysiology, inflammatory mediators also have the potential to help us understand the endotypes various phenotypes of OA, including their utilisation as biomarkers. Notwithstanding, extracellular matrix breakdown products or their metabolites, including proteoglycans and/or glycosaminoglycans, have long been considered as potential biomarkers in OA. However, attempts made so far did not render ideal candidates. It might well be that qualitative alterations of extracellular matrix products help discriminate healthy from damaged OA tissues.
The aim of this Research Topic is to provide a collection of authoritative articles on fundamentals of the inflammatory scenario in OA joints and their relevance to current and/or potential biomarkers development in this disease. In particular, we must identify markers and mediators that might discriminate OA phenotypes. Data on extracellular matrix components that could be useful as biomarkers in this disease are also pertinent to this Research Topic.
Keywords: Osteoarthritis, Biomarkers, Cartilage, Synovium, Inflammation
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