Because articular cartilage is an aneural tissue, the nerve impulses that regulate many body processes cannot provide information to chondrocytes.

Cellular and humoral immune responses also are not likely to occur in cartilage, because both monocytes and immunoglobulins tend to be excluded from the tissue by virtue of their size. However, the cells derive considerable information from the mechanical stresses and strains that act on their membranes as a result of physical forces applied to the tissue.10-12 Joint motion and loading appear to serve as principal stimuli to the cartilage cells. How the chondrocytes sense their mechanical environment and convert the information received to changes in gene expression is unknown, although integrins (molecules that span the plasma membrane of the chondrocytes and are connected to the intracellular cytoplasm) are likely to be involved.