Published: 23-09-2022 14:27 | Updated: 18-10-2022 14:54

Synovial fluid influences the formation and maintenance of articular cartilage

Ola Nilsson with research group

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet reveal a novel mechanism by which the cells that produce synovial fluid also make factors that control articular cartilage development and protect the cartilage from mineralisation and degradation. The finding has been published in npj Regenerative Medicine.

Articular cartilage is essential to joint function, but the fundamental mechanisms that control its differentiation and protect it from endochondral bone formation have not been elucidated. The new study on rats shows how cells called synoviocytes produce factors that directly regulate the differentiation of cartilage cells, promoting articular cartilage formation.

“The mechanism has important implications for articular cartilage development, maintenance and regeneration, and increases our understanding of joint development and the pathogenic mechanisms underlying degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis,” says associate professor Ola Nilsson at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet, who led the study. “These findings can also help the development of efficient articular cartilage tissue engineering.”

Publication: “The synovial microenvironment suppresses chondrocyte hypertrophy and promotes articular chondrocyte differentiation”. Michael Chau, Zelong Dou, Marta Baroncelli, Ellie B. Landman, Ameya Bendre, Masaru Kanekiyo, Alexandra Gkourogianni, Kevin Barnes, Lars Ottosson, Ola Nilsson. npj Regenerative Medicine, online 16 September 2022.


Ola Nilsson Affiliated to Research;Professor/Senior Physician