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Cartilage Matrix Integrity Rests on Respiring Mitochondria

Genetically turning off mitochondrial respiration in mice results in an abnormal expansion of cartilage at the head of the femur, disorganized cartilage cells, and excessive extracellular matrix, a new study led by scientists at the University of Cologne shows. Osteoporosis, arthrosis, and other musculoskeletal diseases can be caused by changes in the extracellular matrix, significantly affecting quality of life. The findings demonstrated that mitochondrial respiratory chain dysfunction is a key factor promoting extracellular matrix integrity and mechanical stability in cartilage, and may contribute to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for musculoskeletal diseases.