Nf-κb signaling regulates physiological and pathological chondrogenesis

Eijiro Jimi, Huang Fei, Chihiro Nakatomi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)


The nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of genes that control cell proliferation and apoptosis, as well as genes that respond to inflammation and immune responses. There are two means of NF-κB activation: the classical pathway, which involves the degradation of the inhibitor of κBα (IκBα), and the alternative pathway, which involves the NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK, also known as MAP3K14). The mouse growth plate consists of the resting zone, proliferative zone, prehypertrophic zone, and hypertrophic zone. The p65 (RelA), which plays a central role in the classical pathway, is expressed throughout the cartilage layer, from the resting zone to the hypertrophic zone. Inhibiting the classical NF-κB signaling pathway blocks growth hormone (GH) or insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1) signaling, suppresses cell proliferation, and suppresses bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) expression, thereby promoting apoptosis. Since the production of autoantibodies and inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and IL-17, are regulated by the classical pathways and are increased in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), NF-κB inhibitors are used to suppress inflammation and joint destruction in RA models. In osteoarthritis (OA) models, the strength of NF-κB-activation is found to regulate the facilitation or suppression of OA. On the other hand, RelB is involved in the alternative pathway, and is expressed in the periarticular zone during the embryonic period of development. The alternative pathway is involved in the generation of chondrocytes in the proliferative zone during physiological conditions, and in the development of RA and OA during pathological conditions. Thus, NF-κB is an important molecule that controls normal development and the pathological destruction of cartilage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6275
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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