Glucocorticoid signaling and osteoarthritis.


First Department of Orthopaedics, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, School of Medicine, "ATTIKON" University Hospital, Athens, Greece. Electronic address: [Email]


Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones synthesized and released by the adrenal cortex. Their main function is to maintain cell homeostasis through a variety of signaling pathways, responding to changes in an organism's environment or developmental status. Mimicking the actions of natural glucocorticoids, synthetic glucocorticoids have been recruited to treat many diseases that implicate glucocorticoid receptor signaling such as osteoarthritis. In osteoarthritis, synthetic glucocorticoids aim to alleviate inflammation and pain. The variation of patients' response and the possibility of complications associated with their long-term use have led to a need for a better understanding of glucocorticoid receptor signaling in osteoarthritis. In this review, we performed a literature search in the molecular pathways that link the osteoarthritic joint to the glucocorticoid receptor signaling. We hope that this information will advance research in the field and propose new molecular targets for the development of more optimized therapies for osteoarthritis.