An Emerging Target in the Battle against Osteoarthritis: Macrophage Polarization

Yulong Sun, Zhuo Zuo, Yuanyuan Kuang
2020 International Journal of Molecular Sciences  
Osteoarthritis (OA) is one of the most prevalent chronic joint diseases worldwide, which causes a series of problems, such as joint pain, muscle atrophy, and joint deformities. Benefiting from some advances in the clinical treatment of OA, the quality of life of OA patients has been improved. However, the clinical need for more effective treatments for OA is still very urgent. Increasing findings show that macrophages are a critical breakthrough in OA therapy. Stimulated by different factors,
more » ... crophages are differentiated into two phenotypes: the pro-inflammatory M1 type and anti-inflammatory M2 type. In this study, various therapeutic reagents for macrophage-dependent OA treatment are summarized, including physical stimuli, chemical compounds, and biological molecules. Subsequently, the mechanisms of action of various approaches to modulating macrophages are discussed, and the signaling pathways underlying these treatments are interpreted. The NF-κB signaling pathway plays a vital role in the occurrence and development of macrophage-mediated OA, as NF-κB signaling pathway agonists promote the occurrence of OA, whereas NF-κB inhibitors ameliorate OA. Besides, several signaling pathways are also involved in the process of OA, including the JNK, Akt, MAPK, STAT6, Wnt/β-catenin, and mTOR pathways. In summary, macrophage polarization is a critical node in regulating the inflammatory response of OA. Reagents targeting the polarization of macrophages can effectively inhibit inflammation in the joints, which finally relieves OA symptoms. Our work lays the foundation for the development of macrophage-targeted therapeutic molecules and helps to elucidate the role of macrophages in OA.
doi:10.3390/ijms21228513 pmid:33198196 fatcat:k52tzmcesba6dcln4fkhx3qbtu