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Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common form of arthritis and a major cause of pain and disability in elders. It is characterised by cartilage loss and structural changes in the whole joint. Although some mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of OA are more and more understood, several factors involved in the onset and progression of the disease remain elusive. Together with aging and genetic factors, obesity is an important risk factor for OA.1 Recent data suggest a clear role of systemic inflammatory mediators, produced by fat mass, called adipokines, in OA.2–⇓4 Actually, experimental evidences confirm the critical role of adipokines with an emphasis on old members, such as leptin and visfatin,3–⇓5 but also on new members such as chemerin.2
To this regard, several lines of evidence indicate that these factors exert pro-inflammatory and pro-catabolic actions at cartilage level.2 ,4 ,5 For instance, leptin, chemerin and visfatin trigger the expression of nitric oxide, MMPs and PGE2 in chondrocytes.2 ,4 ,5
Leptin, chemerin and visfatin have been detected in synovial fluid obtained from OA patients.6–⇓8 …
Contributors JC participated in acquisition of data, analysis and interpretation of data and critical revision of the manuscript. MS, VL, VA, MH and JP participated in acquisition of data and samples, drafting of the manuscript and statistical analysis. JJG-R participated in analysis and interpretation of data and drafting the manuscript. OG and FL participated in conception and design of the study, in analysis and interpretation of data, critical revision of the manuscript and scientific supervision of experiments.
Funding This work was partially supported by RETICS Program, RD08/0075 (RIER) from Instituto de Salud Carlos III (ISCIII), within the VI NP of R+D+I 2008–2011 and PI 11/01073. The work of OG is funded by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III and the Xunta de Galicia (SERGAS) through a research-staff stabilisation contract and supported by Instituto de Salud Carlos III and Xunta de Galicia. JC is a recipient of a pre-doctoral contract funded by IDIS. MS is a pre-doctoral fellow funded by the Spanish Ministry of Education. The work of VL is funded by Instituto de Salud Carlos III and Vanessa Abella is a PhD student funded by Xunta de Galicia through a contract signed with University of Coruña.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Santiago University Clinical Hospital Ethics Committee.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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