Mechanosensitive Purinergic Calcium Signalling in Articular Chondrocytes

  • Belinda Pingguan-Murphy
  • Martin M. Knight
Part of the Mechanosensitivity in Cells and Tissues book series (MECT, volume 1)


Mechanotransduction is the mechanism through which living cells sense and respond to mechanical stimuli. In many tissues, including muscle, blood vessel, bone, ligament and cartilage, mechanotransduction is essential for tissue health and function. Although mechanotransduction mechanisms have been identified in a number of tissues, the signalling pathways have not yet been elucidated in articular cartilage. This chapter explores the influence of physiological mechanical stimuli on intracellular Ca2+ signalling in articular chondrocytes and its potential involvement in cartilage mechanotransduction. The review focuses primarily on Ca2+ signalling activated by deformation of isolated primary articular chondrocytes cultured within the well-established agarose model system. The chapter discusses the involvement of a mechanosensitive purinergic pathway which trigger Ca2+ signalling through the release of ATP and the activation of purine receptors. The influence of different loading parameters on the Ca2+ signalling characteristics is discussed as a putative mechanism through which cells differentiate between different loading conditions. Finally the chapter examines the downstream cellular response to mechanically-activated purinergic Ca2+ signalling and its importance in tissue health and homeostasis


Cartilage Chondrocyte Mechanotransduction Calcium ATP Purine receptors 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belinda Pingguan-Murphy
  • Martin M. Knight

There are no affiliations available

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