How Bone Marrow Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Repair Cartilage in Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis is now thought to be a degenerative disease of the connective tissue that progresses with age or develops in young athletes following sports related injury. Articular cartilage is especially vulnerable to injury and has poor potential for regeneration because of an inherent absence of vasculature. Normal load bearing intolerance adds to a vicious cycle as the disease progresses and the cartilage thins. At present, medicinal approaches to osteoarthritis address only the symptoms, anti-inflammatories. Surgical intervention for cartilage restoration is relatively new, still not proven, technically demanding, and of limited application. Restoration of normal cartilage function has been difficult to achieve.
Since cartilage is composed primarily of chondrocytes distributed in a specialized matrix bed, bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells having inherent chondrogenic (cartilage creating) potential should be ideally suited for therapeutic use in regenerating cartilage. BONE MARROW CONCENTRATE teaming with adult mesenchymal stem cells is readily available from the posterior pelvis at the iliac spine. Because of their ability to modulate the local environment via anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive functions, BMC in addition to assisting in cartilage restoration may assist in the remodeling of the entire joint. By secreting many bioactive soluble factors, adult mesenchymal stem cells can protect the cartilage from further tissue destruction and facilitate regeneration. Because of their therapeutic potential for repairing cartilage damage in osteoarthritis and relieving associated symptoms, I embraced the discipline of regenerative medicine to postpone or even avoid a joint replacement.