Mesenchymal Stem/Progenitor Cells Derived from Articular Cartilage, Synovial Membrane and Synovial Fluid for Cartilage Regeneration: Current Status and Future Perspectives.Stem Cell Rev Rep. 2017 Oct; 13(5):575-586.SC
Large articular cartilage defects remain an immense challenge in the field of regenerative medicine because of their poor intrinsic repair capacity. Currently, the available medical interventions can relieve clinical symptoms to some extent, but fail to repair the cartilaginous injuries with authentic hyaline cartilage. There has been a surge of interest in developing cell-based therapies, focused particularly on the use of mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells with or without scaffolds. Mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells are promising graft cells for tissue regeneration, but the most suitable source of cells for cartilage repair remains controversial. The tissue origin of mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells notably influences the biological properties and therapeutic potential. It is well known that mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells derived from synovial joint tissues exhibit superior chondrogenic ability compared with those derived from non-joint tissues; thus, these cell populations are considered ideal sources for cartilage regeneration. In addition to the progress in research and promising preclinical results, many important research questions must be answered before widespread success in cartilage regeneration is achieved. This review outlines the biology of stem/progenitor cells derived from the articular cartilage, the synovial membrane, and the synovial fluid, including their tissue distribution, function and biological characteristics. Furthermore, preclinical and clinical trials focusing on their applications for cartilage regeneration are summarized, and future research perspectives are discussed.