From Low-Grade Inflammation in Osteoarthritis to Neuropsychiatric Sequelae: A Narrative Review

Vladimrs Naumovs (Coresponding Author), Valērija Groma (Coresponding Author), Jānis Mednieks

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Nowadays, osteoarthritis (OA), a common, multifactorial musculoskeletal disease, is considered to have a low-grade inflammatory pathogenetic component. Lately, neuropsychiatric sequelae of the disease have gained recognition. However, a link between the peripheral inflammatory process of OA and the development of neuropsychiatric pathology is not completely understood. In this review, we provide a narrative that explores the development of neuropsychiatric disease in the presence of chronic peripheral low-grade inflammation with a focus on its signaling to the brain. We describe the development of a pro-inflammatory environment in the OA-affected joint. We discuss inflammation-signaling pathways that link the affected joint to the central nervous system, mainly using primary sensory afferents and blood circulation via circumventricular organs and cerebral endothelium. The review describes molecular and cellular changes in the brain, recognized in the presence of chronic peripheral inflammation. In addition, changes in the volume of gray matter and alterations of connectivity important for the assessment of the efficacy of treatment in OA are discussed in the given review. Finally, the narrative considers the importance of the use of neuropsychiatric diagnostic tools for a disease with an inflammatory component in the clinical setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16031
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2022


  • osteoarthritis
  • low-grade inflammation
  • cytokines
  • signaling
  • central nervous system
  • neuropsychiatric disease

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.2 Clinical medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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