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NCAM Regulates Chondrocyte Hypertrophy

Osteoarthritis (OA) patients suffer from irreversible and challenging to repair defects in the cartilage; however, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based cartilage regeneration may represent an exciting approach if we can inhibit the excessive chondrocyte hypertrophy observed in the inflammatory intra‐articular conditions of OA. Now, researchers led by Bin‐Feng Cheng and Zhi‐Wei Feng (Xinxiang Medical University, Xinxiang, Henan, China) provide evidence in a new STEM CELLS Translational Medicine article that neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) deficiency enhances chondrocyte hypertrophy in chondrogenic differentiation of MSCs and experimental OA, and upregulation of NCAM inhibits hypertrophic chondrocyte differentiation. Are NCAM‐overexpressing MSCs the key to OA treatment?