Osteoarthritis biomarker responses and cartilage adaptation to exercise: A review of animal and human models

Marija Mazor, Thomas M. Best, Annabelle Cesaro, Eric Lespessailles, Hechmi Toumi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Regular physical activity has been suggested as having both preventive and therapeutic benefits for individuals with osteoarthritis (OA). However, evidence of whether exercise and which type of exercise constitutes a benefit or a risk in the development and progression of OA remains debatable. This may be due to the evaluation of the effect of physical activity or new disease-modifying OA drugs which is currently based on radiographic criteria (eg, joint space width) and the lack of correlation with clinical signs and symptoms (eg, pain and loss of function). Moreover, OA typically manifests itself as changes within the joint space and subchondral bone as well as the whole joint structure, including progressive degradation of cartilage, menisci, ligaments, and synovial inflammation. Biomarkers are being developed to quantify joint remodeling and disease progression notably involving the articular cartilage and synovial fluid. The primary purpose of this review was to evaluate the current literature and to provide further insight based on OA biomarkers and the role physical activity plays in the management of OA. Osteoarthritis biomarkers together with radiographic imaging evidence will ideally guide healthcare providers to incorporate exercise recommendations into clinical management and offer patients evidence-based and individually tailored exercise prescriptions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1072-1082
Number of pages11
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • biomarkers
  • cartilage
  • exercise
  • osteoarthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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