Synovial Joints: from Development to Homeostasis

Lara Longobardi, Tieshi Li, Lidia Tagliafierro, Joseph D. Temple, Helen H. Willcockson, Ping Ye, Alessandra Esposito, Fuhua Xu, Anna Spagnoli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Synovial joint morphogenesis occurs through the condensation of mesenchymal cells into a non-cartilaginous region known as the interzone and the specification of progenitor cells that commit to the articular fate. Although several signaling molecules are expressed by the interzone, the mechanism is poorly understood. For treatments of cartilage injuries, it is critical to discover the presence of joint progenitor cells in adult tissues and their expression gene pattern. Potential stem cell niches have been found in different joint regions, such as the surface zone of articular cartilage, synovium, and groove of Ranvier. Inherited joint malformations as well as joint-degenerating conditions are often associated with other skeletal defects and may be seen as the failure of morphogenic factors to establish the correct microenvironment in cartilage and bone. Therefore, exploring how joints form can help us understand how cartilage and bone are damaged and develop drugs to reactivate this developing mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent Osteoporosis Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Acquired joint diseases
  • Articular cartilage
  • Cytokines/chemokines
  • Inherited joint diseases
  • Interzone
  • Joint progenitor cells
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Synovial joint development
  • TGF-β receptor 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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