MADRID—Calcification in osteoarthritis (OA) involves a series of pathways and interactions that feed off each other in a process that bears some resemblance to the transformation of cartilage to bone that takes place in the embryonic stage of human development, a researcher said here at the 2017 Annual European Congress on Rheumatology (EULAR).
Explore this issueSeptember 2017
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“My hypothesis is that osteoarthritis is a restart of endochondral ossification in the adult organism,” said Jessica Bertrand, PhD, professor of orthopedic surgery at Otto-von Guericke University in Madgeburg, Germany. “The chondrocytes seem to differentiate into a more hypertrophic state, similar to endochondral bone formation.”
Dr. Bertrand’s research found this differentiation process is activated as the amount of calcification increases in vivo and in vitro. “This [finding] indicates a link between chondrocyte hypertrophy and cartilage calcification,” she said.