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Molecular Changes on Cartilage Development

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 2361

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Department of Biomedical and Biotechnological Sciences, Section of Anatomy, Histology and Movement Science, School of Medicine, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia 97, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: anatomy; histology; kinesiology; musculoskeletal disorders; sports medicine; cartilage; osteoarthritis; physical activity; aging; nutrition
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue primarily focuses on how the macromolecular composition and architecture of articular cartilage and its unique biomechanical properties play a pivotal role in the ability of articular cartilage to withstand mechanical loads several magnitudes higher than the weight of the individual. Scientific contributions on short-term and long-term effects of exercise on articular cartilage and the importance of appropriate exercises for normal and diseased or aberrated cartilage are welcomed. 

Joints are composed of specialized connective tissues which, from a functional point of view, act synergistically to effectively and efficiently deal with the mechanical loads encountered over a lifetime. When performing various tasks, such as standing, walking, or running, the knee frequently encounters forces up to several magnitudes higher than body weight. 

From a theoretical perspective, one may reason that, as intermittent dynamic loading is required for cartilage health, exercise, and physical activity, it should be beneficial in view of the structural longevity of the knee joint. However, in the context of preclinical cartilage biology, there are several unanswered questions: 

  1. What exactly is the relationship between exercise and cartilage?
  2. Can cartilage be changed or influenced in ageing conditions?
  3. Is running chondroprotective or harmful for the cartilage?
  4. Which is the role of synoviocytes in the cartilage tribology during static or dynamic conditions?
  5. What are the morphomolecular changes that occur in the cartilage during movement?
  6. Which are the effects of physical activity on articular cartilage and adjacent tissues such as bone, muscle, tendons and ligaments. 

This Special Issue will attempt to answer these and other non-response questions. Since IJMS is a journal of molecular science, thus pure clinical studies will not be suitable for our Special Issue. However, preclinical or pure model submissions with biomolecular and morphomolecular experiments are welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Giuseppe Musumeci
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • articular cartilage 
  • exercise 
  • physical activity 
  • chondrons 
  • cartilage extracellular matrix 
  • articular cartilage collagens 
  • proteoglycans 
  • synoviocytes 
  • noncollagenous proteins 
  • glycoproteins 
  • cartilage matrix compartmentalization 
  • aging of articular cartilage 
  • joint arthropathy and effect of exercise 
  • nutrition effects on cartilage 
  • osteoarthritis 
  • mechanobiology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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12 pages, 300 KiB  
Molecular Assessment of Healthy Pathological Articular Cartilages in Physically Active People: A Scoping Review
by Luca Petrigna, Bruno Trovato, Federico Roggio, Alessandro Castorina and Giuseppe Musumeci
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2023, 24(4), 3662; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24043662 - 11 Feb 2023
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Physiological aging triggers a cascade of negative effects on the human body and the human joint is only one of the several compartments affected by this irreversible and natural process. Osteoarthritis and cartilage degeneration can cause pain and disability; therefore, identifying the molecular [...] Read more.
Physiological aging triggers a cascade of negative effects on the human body and the human joint is only one of the several compartments affected by this irreversible and natural process. Osteoarthritis and cartilage degeneration can cause pain and disability; therefore, identifying the molecular processes underlying these phenomena and the biomarkers produced during physical activity is of critical importance. In the present review, the main goal was to identify and discuss the articular cartilage biomarkers analyzed in studies in which physical or sports activities were adopted and eventually to propose a standard operating procedure for the assessment. Articles collected from Pubmed, Web of Science, and Scopus were scrutinized to detect reliable cartilage biomarkers. The principal articular cartilage biomarkers detected in these studies were cartilage oligomeric matrix protein, matrix metalloproteinases, interleukins, and carboxy-terminal telopeptide. The articular cartilage biomarkers identified in this scoping review may aid in a better comprehension of where research on the topic is heading and offer a viable instrument for streamlining investigations on cartilage biomarker discovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Changes on Cartilage Development)
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