Potential of Phytomolecules in Alliance with Nanotechnology to Surmount the Limitations of Current Treatment Options in the Management of Osteoarthritis

Madan, Jitender, Mourya, Atul, Shubhra, Bajwa, Neha, Baldi, Ashish, Singh, Kamalinder orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7325-0711, Pandey, Manisha and Singh, Shashi Bala (2023) Potential of Phytomolecules in Alliance with Nanotechnology to Surmount the Limitations of Current Treatment Options in the Management of Osteoarthritis. Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry, 23 (9). pp. 992-1032. ISSN 1389-5575

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.2174/1389557522666220511140527


Osteoarthritis (OA), a chronic degenerative musculoskeletal disorder, progressively increases with age. It is characterized by progressive loss of hyaline cartilage followed by subchondral bone remodeling and inflammaging. To counteract the inflammation, synovium releases various inflammatory and immune mediators along with metabolic intermediates, which further worsens the condition. However, even after recognizing the key molecular and cellular factors involved in the progression of OA, only disease-modifying therapies are available such as oral and topical NSAIDs, opioids, SNRIs, etc., providing symptomatic treatment and functional improvement instead of suppressing OA progression. Long-term use of these therapies leads to various life-threatening complications. Interestingly, mother nature has numerous medicinal plants containing active phytochemicals that can act on various targets involved in the development and progression of OA. Phytochemicals have been used for millennia in traditional medicine and are promising alternatives to conventional drugs with a lower rate of adverse events and efficiency frequently comparable to synthetic molecules. Nevertheless, their mechanism of action in many cases is elusive and uncertain. Even though many in vitro and in vivo studies show promising results, clinical evidence is scarce. Studies suggest that the presence of carbonyl group in the 2nd position, chloro in the 6th and an electron- withdrawing group at the 7th position exhibit enhanced COX-2 inhibition activity in OA. On the other hand, the presence of a double bond at the C2-C3 position of C ring in flavonoids plays an important role in Nrf2 activation. Moreover, with the advancements in the understanding of OA progression, SARs (structure-activity relationships) of phytochemicals and integration with nanotechnology have provided great opportunities for developing phytopharmaceuticals. Therefore, in the present review, we have discussed various promising phytomolecules, SAR as well as their nano-based delivery systems for the treatment of OA to motivate the future investigation of phytochemical-based drug therapy.

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