Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Treating Articular Cartilage Defects and Osteoarthritis.Cell Transplant. 2015; 24(9):1661-78.CT
Articular cartilage damage and osteoarthritis are the most common joint diseases. Joints are prone to damage caused by sports injuries or aging, and such damage regularly progresses to more serious joint disorders, including osteoarthritis, which is a degenerative disease characterized by the thinning and eventual wearing out of articular cartilage, ultimately leading to joint destruction. Osteoarthritis affects millions of people worldwide. Current approaches to repair of articular cartilage damage include mosaicplasty, microfracture, and injection of autologous chondrocytes. These treatments relieve pain and improve joint function, but the long-term results are unsatisfactory. The long-term success of cartilage repair depends on development of regenerative methodologies that restore articular cartilage to a near-native state. Two promising approaches are (i) implantation of engineered constructs of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-seeded scaffolds, and (ii) delivery of an appropriate population of MSCs by direct intra-articular injection. MSCs may be used as trophic producers of bioactive factors initiating regenerative activities in a defective joint. Current challenges in MSC therapy are the need to overcome current limitations in cartilage cell purity and to in vitro engineer tissue structures exhibiting the required biomechanical properties. This review outlines the current status of MSCs used in cartilage tissue engineering and in cell therapy seeking to repair articular cartilage defects and related problems. MSC-based technologies show promise when used to repair cartilage defects in joints.