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Aging, osteoarthritis and transforming growth factor-β signaling in cartilage

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Osteoarthritis is a common malady of the musculoskeletal system affecting the articular cartilage. The increased frequency of osteoarthritis with aging indicates the complex etiology of this disease, which includes pathophysiology and joint stability including biomechanics. The balance between anabolic morphogens and growth factors and catabolic cytokines is at the crux of the problem of osteoarthritis. One such signal is transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta). The impaired TGF-beta signaling has been identified as a culprit in old mice in a recent article in this journal. This commentary places this discovery in the context of anabolic and catabolic signals and articular cartilage homeostasis in the joint.

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