Osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type of arthritis that occurs in an aged population. It affects any joints in the body and degenerates the articular cartilage and the subchondral bone. Despite the pathophysiology of OA being different, cartilage resorption is still a symbol of osteoarthritis. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important proteolytic enzymes that degrade extra‐cellular matrix proteins (ECM) in the body. MMPs contribute to the turnover of cartilage and its break down; their levels have increased in the joint tissues of OA patients. Application of chondroprotective drugs neutralize the activities of MMPs. Natural products derived from herbs and plants developed as traditional medicine have been paid attention to, due to their potential biological effects. The therapeutic value of natural products in OA has increased in reputation due to their clinical impact and insignificant side effects. Several MMPs inhibitor have been used as therapeutic drugs, for a long time. Recently, different types of compounds were reviewed for their biological activities. In this review, we summarize numerous natural products for the development of MMPs inhibitors in arthritic diseases and describe the major signaling targets that were involved for the treatments of these destructive joint diseases.
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