Fibroblast growth factor 2: good or bad guy in the joint?
Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF2) is a highly abundant growth factor found within the pericellular matrix of articular chondrocytes, but studies investigating its role have been conflicting. The paper reported by Yan and colleagues in the previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy proposes that differences in responses to FGF2 are most likely due to changes in the balance between the two major articular cartilage FGF receptors, FGFR1 and FGFR3. They show that the catabolic and anti-anabolic effects of FGF2 are mediated primarily through FGFR1 whereas the beneficial effects are through FGFR3. This balance is dynamic and is altered in disease and following growth factor stimulation in vitro.