What is Osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease that is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joints, leading to pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Cartilage is the smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones and provides cushioning and support to the joints. When this cartilage wears away, bones can rub against each other, causing pain and inflammation.
Osteoarthritis can affect any joint in the body, but it most commonly occurs in the knees, hips, hands, and spine. It is more common in older adults, although it can occur at any age. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include obesity, joint injury, genetics, and certain occupations that involve repetitive motions or heavy lifting.
Figure 1 Paracrine activity of mesenchymal stem cells in an osteoarthritis articular environment (Professional illustration by Matilde Bongio, GoArts – Istituto Ortopedico Galeazzi). MSCs: Mesenchymal stem cells.
Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Are They a Good Therapeutic Strategy for Osteoarthritis?
Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) have been studied as a potential therapeutic strategy for osteoarthritis. Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent cells that can differentiate into various cell types, including chondrocytes, which are the cells that produce cartilage.
Studies have shown that Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) have the ability to reduce inflammation, promote cartilage repair and regeneration, and improve joint function of osteoarthritis. Some clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the use of ADSCs for osteoarthritis in humans. These studies have shown promising results, with some patients experiencing reduced pain and improved joint function.
The Role of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) in Osteoarthritis
The injection of MSCs in joint cavity is a novel therapy that improves osteoarthritis symptoms due to their ability to stimulate local repair and regeneration of damaged joint tissues, and to reduce inflammation and associated pain. MSCs modulate the inflammatory response by causing the suppression of inflammatory T-cell proliferation and inhibition of monocyte and myeloid dendritic cell maturation. ( Quoted from Link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6073660/ )
Besides their differentiation potential, MSCs also express enzymes and secrete numerous nutritional factors involved in paracrine activities, including growth factors, cytokines and chemokines, which nourish cartilage by activating cellular and angiogenesis pathways. ( Quoted from Link: https://www.wjgnet.com/1948-0210/full/v11/i4/222.htm )
Since analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs often cause gastrointestinal, liver, kidney and heart problems, many common side effects arise from current arthritis treatments, which may cause significant injury to the patient. Also, ACI surgery may cause morbidity in the donor site, and requires two operations under general anesthesia. With the advancement of research on the characteristics, pre-clinical and clinical applications of MSCs, regenerative medicine based on stem cell therapy has gradually presented its advantages in the treatment of osteoarthritis disease. In summary, Intra-articular injection of MSCs can lead to the reduction of index-pain, improve the function and significantly increase the volume of cartilage. ( Quoted from Link: https://www.wjgnet.com/1948-0210/full/v11/i4/222.htm )
Dr. Edwin Chang
“Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Are They a Good Therapeutic Strategy for Osteoarthritis?” This clinical trial is investigating the efficacy of Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) in treating osteoarthritis. Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (ADSCs) are a potential regenerative therapy that has been shown to protect against degenerative changes in chondrocytes. This review compared the efficacy of ADSCs to other therapies for OA and found that conventional pharmacological therapies and surgery have limitations. MSCs, including ADSCs, have shown promise in improving symptoms and joint function.
Wang AT, Feng Y, Jia HH, Zhao M, Yu H. Application of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee: A concise review. World J Stem Cells 2019; 11(4): 222-235 [PMID: 31110603 DOI: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i4.222]