Chinese Journal of Tissue Engineering Research ›› 2024, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (6): 961-967.doi: 10.12307/2023.793

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Research status and application prospect of cytokine therapy for osteoarthritis

Zhang Kefan, Shi Hui   

  1. Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou 256600, Shandong Province, China
  • Received:2022-12-16 Accepted:2023-01-31 Online:2024-02-28 Published:2023-07-12
  • Contact: Shi Hui, MD, Associate chief physician, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou 256600, Shandong Province, China
  • About author:Zhang Kefan, Master candidate, Binzhou Medical University Hospital, Binzhou 256600, Shandong Province, China
  • Supported by:
    Shandong Provincial Key Clinical Specialized Discipline Construction Project, No. SLCZDZK-0302 (to SH)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: In cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis, cytokines and signaling pathways that target chondrocytes play an important role. 
OBJECTIVE: To review the latest research progress of osteoarthritis related cytokines and signaling pathways in recent years, such as the mechanism of action and treatment modalities, in order to provide a basis for future exploration of new therapeutic targets and modalities.
METHODS: Literature search was conducted on CNKI, WanFang, VIP, PubMed, Web of Science, and Medline databases. Chinese search terms were “osteoarthritis, cytokines, signal pathway, chondrocyte, inflammation, treatment”. Finally, 60 papers were included for review. 
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: (1) In current studies, it is believed that the specific mechanism of osteoarthritis is not clear, and a large number of studies have shown that osteoarthritis is strongly associated with cytokines and signaling pathways, which is a complex process of action. Relevant studies taking cytokines and signaling pathways as therapeutic breakthroughs are also the current hot spot. (2) The receptor antagonists of pro-inflammatory factors such as interleukin 1 are not effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis, and more studies turn to gene therapy. (3) The therapeutic methods of transforming growth factor β, recombinant factors of Wnt signaling pathway, gene therapy and mesenchymal stem cells have obtained positive research results. However, basic and clinical studies on safety and efficacy are likely to be conducted in future studies. (4) At present, relevant therapeutic methods such as platelet-rich plasma have been widely used in clinical practice, while recombinant factor, gene therapy and mesenchymal stem cell therapy are all in the research stage, among which mesenchymal stem cell therapy and gene therapy are expected to make breakthroughs in the field of cartilage repair and regeneration, and are worthy of expectation in the future. However, more clinical and basic studies are needed to verify its effectiveness and safety, explore its mechanism of action and scope of application, and set standards for its clinical use. 

Key words: osteoarthritis, cytokine, signaling pathway, gene therapy, mesenchymal stem cell, platelet-rich plasma, inflammation, cartilage repair, therapy, review

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