Smoking and osteoarthritis: differential effect of nicotine on human chondrocyte glycosaminoglycan and collagen synthesis.


Anecdotal suggestions and retrospective studies indicate an inverse relationship between the incidence of osteoarthritis and individuals who smoke. As a possible explanation, our studies confirm that nicotine upregulates glycosaminoglycan and collagen synthetic activity of articular chondrocytes at physiological levels seen in individuals who smoke. 


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