Pharmacological targets in knee osteoarthritis

There are several pharmacological targets in knee osteoarthritis that currently are being investigated for the development of new drugs.

Inflammation plays a critical role in the development and progression of knee osteoarthritis. Targeting inflammatory pathways, such as interleukin-1 (IL-1), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), has shown promise in preclinical and clinical studies.

Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are enzymes that degrade the extracellular matrix of cartilage and bone. Targeting MMPs with inhibitors has been proposed as a potential therapeutic strategy to slow down the progression of knee osteoarthritis.

Cartilage and bone remodeling: The balance between cartilage and bone remodeling is disrupted in knee osteoarthritis, leading to cartilage degradation and bone overgrowth. Targeting enzymes involved in cartilage and bone remodeling, such as aggrecanases and cathepsins, has shown promise in preclinical studies.

Pain is a major symptom of knee osteoarthritis and can significantly impact patients' quality of life. Targeting pain pathways, such as transient receptor potential (TRP) channels and nerve growth factor (NGF), has shown promise in preclinical and clinical studies.

Growth factors, such as transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), play a role in cartilage and bone formation and repair. Targeting these growth factors with agonists or antagonists has shown promise in preclinical studies.

Autophagy is a cellular process that removes damaged or dysfunctional components, and its dysregulation has been implicated in the development of knee osteoarthritis. Targeting autophagy with activators or inhibitors has shown promise in preclinical studies.