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Articular cartilage stem cell signalling

Camilla Karlsson and Anders Lindahl*

Author Affiliations

Department of Clinical Chemistry and Transfusion Medicine, The Sahlgrenska Academy at Gothenburg University, PO Box 400, SE405 30, Gothenburg, Sweden

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2009, 11:121  doi:10.1186/ar2753

See related research article by Grogan et al.,

Published: 24 July 2009


The view of articular cartilage as a non-regeneration organ has been challenged in recent years. The articular cartilage consists of distinct zones with different cellular and molecular phenotypes, and the superficial zone has been hypothesized to harbour stem cells. Furthermore, the articular cartilage demonstrates a distinct pattern regarding stem cell markers (that is, Notch-1, Stro-1, and vascular cell adhesion molecule-1). These results, in combination with the positive identification of side population cells in articular cartilage, give additional support for the hypothesis that articular cartilage has residing stem cells with a potential regenerative capacity where the controlling mechanism could be future biomarkers or drug targets or both.