Basic Mechanisms of Pain in Osteoarthritis: Experimental Observations and New Perspectives

Anne Marie Malfait*, Rachel E. Miller, Richard J. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The specific changes in the peripheral neuronal pathways underlying joint pain in osteoarthritis are the focus of this review. The plasticity of the nociceptive system in osteoarthritis and how this involves changes in the structural, physiologic, and genetic properties of neurons in pain pathways are discussed. The role of the neurotrophin, nerve growth factor, in these pathogenic processes is discussed. Finally, how neuronal pathways are modified by interaction with the degenerating joint tissues they innervate and with the innate immune system is considered. These extensive cellular interactions provide a substrate for identification of targets for osteoarthritis pain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-180
Number of pages16
JournalRheumatic Disease Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2021


  • DRG neurons
  • Innate immunity
  • NGF
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pain
  • Sensitization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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