We showed that the chemokine receptor C-X-C Motif Chemokine Receptor 2 (CXCR2) is essential for cartilage homeostasis. Here, we reveal that the CXCR2 ligand granulocyte chemotactic protein 2 (GCP-2) was expressed, during embryonic development, within the prospective permanent articular cartilage, but not in the epiphyseal cartilage destined to be replaced by bone. GCP-2 expression was retained in adult articular cartilage. GCP-2 loss-of-function inhibited extracellular matrix production. GCP-2 treatment promoted chondrogenesis in vitro and in human cartilage organoids implanted in nude mice in vivo. To exploit the chondrogenic activity of GCP-2, we disrupted its chemotactic activity, by mutagenizing a glycosaminoglycan binding sequence, which we hypothesized to be required for the formation of a GCP-2 haptotactic gradient on endothelia. This mutated version (GCP-2-T) had reduced capacity to induce transendothelial migration in vitro and in vivo, without affecting downstream receptor signaling through AKT, and chondrogenic activity. Intra-articular adenoviral overexpression of GCP-2-T, but not wild-type GCP-2, reduced pain and cartilage loss in instability-induced osteoarthritis in mice. We suggest that GCP-2-T may be used for disease modification in osteoarthritis.