Biomol Ther.  2019 Nov;27(6):503-513. 10.4062/biomolther.2019.139.

Natural Products as Sources of Novel Drug Candidates for the Pharmacological Management of Osteoarthritis: A Narrative Review

  • 1Department of Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine and Changwon Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju 52727, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Smith Liberal Arts College and Department of Addiction Science, Graduate School, Sahmyook University, Seoul 01795, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Chungnam National University, Daejeon 35015, Republic of Korea.
  • 4Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Institute of Health Science, Gyeongsang National University School of Medicine and Gyeongsang National University Hospital, Jinju 52727, Republic of Korea.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative articular disorder. Formation of bone spurs, synovial inflammation, loss of cartilage, and underlying bone restructuring have been reported to be the main pathologic characteristics of osteoarthritis symptoms. The onset and progression of osteoarthritis are attributed to various inflammatory cytokines in joint tissues and fluids that are produced by chondrocytes and/or interact with chondrocytes, as well as to low-grade inflammation in intra-articular tissues. Disruption of the equilibrium between the synthesis and degradation of the cartilage of the joint is the major cause of osteoarthritis. Hence, developing a promising pharmacological tool to restore the equilibrium between the synthesis and degradation of osteoarthritic joint cartilage can be a useful strategy for effectively managing osteoarthritis. In this review, we provide an overview of the research results pertaining to the search for a novel candidate agent for osteoarthritis management via restoration of the equilibrium between cartilage synthesis and degradation. We especially focused on investigations of medicinal plants and natural products derived from them to shed light on the potential pharmacotherapy of osteoarthritis.


Osteoarthritis; Pharmacotherapy; Natural products

MeSH Terms

Biological Products*
Drug Therapy
Plants, Medicinal
Biological Products
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