Current knowledge of pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) in articular cartilage

Universidad de Murcia
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Histology and Histopathology: cellular and molecular biology, 2020, 16
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Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP) is an evolutionally well conserved neuropeptide, mainly expressed by neuronal and peripheral cells. It proves to be an interesting object of study both for its trophic functions during the development of several tissues and for its protective effects against oxidative stress, hypoxia, inflammation and apoptosis in different degenerative diseases. This brief review summarises the recent findings concerning the role of PACAP in the articular cartilage. PACAP and its receptors are expressed during chondrogenesis and are shown to activate the pathways involved in regulating cartilage development. Moreover, this neuropeptide proves to be chondroprotective against those stressors that determine cartilage degeneration and contribute to the onset of osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of degenerative joint disease. Indeed, the degenerated cartilage exhibits low levels of PACAP, suggesting that its endogenous levels in adult cartilage may play an essential role in maintaining physiological properties. Thanks to its peculiar characteristics, exogenous administration of PACAP could be suggested as a potential tool to slow down the progression of OA and for cartilage regeneration approaches.
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