Effects of aging and physical activity on articular cartilage: a literature review
J. Morphol. Sci., vol.29, n1, p.0, 2012
The overall aim of this literature review is, by making use of major databases, to introduce the concepts about the articular cartilage structure and the effects of aging on articular cartilage. The effects of physical exercises on those cartilages are also discussed. The most important observations found are: cartilage thickness decreases gradually with age as well the content of proteoglycans and water, and there is an increase and the collagen fibrils, which may be associated with the increased rigidity and fragility of the articular cartilage. When properly done, physical activities produce compressive stimuli which enhance the activity of chondrocytes increasing its nuclear volume density per area, as well as the width of the layers leading to greater resistance to compression. Another consequence is extracellular matrix hydration resulting in greater mechanical resistance and elasticity and a consequent increase the number of collagen fibrils which generates greater resistance to deformation and implies less rigidity. These facts reduce the risk of breakdown of cartilage when it is subjected to high mechanical demand.
articular cartilage, exercise