This short communication focuses the on articular cartilage and the subchondral bone, both of which play important roles in the development of osteoarthritis (OA). There are indications that estrogen-deficiency, as the post-menopausal state, accelerate the development of OA.

We investigated, which extracellular matrix (ECM) protein, proteases and different pro-inflammatory factors was up- or down-regulated in the knee joint tissue in response to estrogen-deficiency in rats induced by ovariectomy. These data support previous findings that several metalloproteinases (MMPs) and cysteine proteases are co-regulated with numerous collagens and proteoglycans that are important for cartilage integrity. Furthermore quite a few pro-inflammatory cytokines were regulated by estrogen deprivation.

We found multiple genes where regulated in the joint by estrogen-deficiency, many of which correspond well with our current knowledge of the pathogenesis of OA. It supports that estrogen-deficiency (e.g. OVX) may accelerate joint deterioration. However, there are also data that draw attention the need for better understanding of the synergy between proteases and tissue turnover