The formation and maintenance of articular cartilage depends on chondrocytes.1,4,5 These are derived from mesenchymal cells, which differentiate during skeletal morphogenesis.

During skeletal growth, these cells generate a large amount of ECM, and in mature tissue, they maintain this matrix. They are metabolically active and respond to a variety of environmental stimuli, including growth factors, interleukins, and pharmaceutical agents; matrix molecules; mechanical loads; electrical potential and currents; and hydrostatic and osmotic pressure changes.