According to study results published in Arthritis Research & Therapy, cells from osteoarthritic knees have abnormally shortened telomeres and the percentage of cells with ultra short telomeres increases closer to the damaged area of the joint. Telomeres are repetitive sequences of DNA found at the ends of a chromosome. It is known that as we age, telomeres become shorter. Telomeres also shorten when there is cell damage, such as oxidative damage.
Researchers have concluded that there are two processes occurring with regard to telomere shortening in osteoarthritis. First, there is age-related telomere shortening which leads to cells being unable to continue dividing. Secondly, there are ultra short telomeres, likely due to compression stress when the joint is used and ultimately leading to the joint's failure to repair itself.
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