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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 921053, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/921053
Review Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cell for Prevention and Management of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration

1Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo 200, Trigoria, 00128 Rome, Italy
2Integrated Research Centre, Campus Bio-Medico University, Via Alvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy
3Centre for Sports and Exercise Medicine, Mile End Hospital, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 275 Bancroft Road, London E1 4DG, UK

Received 3 October 2011; Accepted 6 December 2011

Academic Editor: Wasim S. Khan

Copyright © 2012 Umile Giuseppe Longo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Intervertebral disc degeneration (IVD) is a frequent pathological condition. Conservative management often fails, and patients with IVD degeneration may require surgical intervention. Several treatment strategies have been proposed, although only surgical discectomy and arthrodesis have been proved to be predictably effective. The aim of biological strategies is to prevent and manage IVD degeneration, improve the function, the anabolic and reparative capabilities of the nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus cells, and inhibit matrix degradation. At present, clinical applications are still in their infancy. Further studies are required to clarify the role of mesenchymal stem cells and gene therapy for the prevention and treatment of IVD degeneration.