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Osteoarthritis is a joint disease that is characterized by focal degradation of articular cartilage. In addition to the degeneration of articular cartilage, attempts at repair are found in the affected tissue. Cartilage cells (chondrocytes) play a key role, not only in the destructive process, but also in the repair response. It has become apparent that anabolic and catabolic mediators, released from chondrocytes themselves or from other joint cells, drive both destructive and repair activities in the osteoarthritic joint.