Nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 knockdown inhibits hypertonicity-induced chondrogenic marker expression. (a) Relative expression of nuclear factor of activated T-cells 5 (NFAT5) and its target genes S100A4 and SLC6A12 in transduced chondrocytes either expressing (NFAT5 shRNA) or not expressing (control) NFAT5-specific shRNAs, 24 hours after increasing tonicity to 380 mOsm. (b) Effects of NFAT5 knockdown on chondrogenic markers AGC1, SOX9, COL2 and COL1. Data are mean ± standard deviation, n = 6. Differences from cells transduced with control virus are indicated: *P < 0.05 and **P < 0.01.