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Stem Cells International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 194318, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/194318
Review Article

Current Perspectives in Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapies for Osteoarthritis

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society, 1873 Rama IV Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand
2Department of Orthopaedics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, Thai Red Cross Society, 1873 Rama IV Road, Pathumwan, Bangkok 10330, Thailand

Received 20 August 2014; Accepted 19 November 2014; Published 8 December 2014

Academic Editor: Franca Fagioli

Copyright © 2014 Baldur Kristjánsson and Sittisak Honsawek. 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

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative joint disease most commonly occurring in the ageing population. It is a slow progressive condition resulting in the destruction of hyaline cartilage followed by pain and reduced activity. Conventional treatments have little effects on the progression of the condition often leaving surgery as the last option. In the last 10 years tissue engineering utilising mesenchymal stem cells has been emerging as an alternative method for treating OA. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent progenitor cells found in various tissues, most commonly bone marrow and adipose tissue. MSCs are capable of differentiating into osteocytes, adipocytes, and chondrocytes. Autologous MSCs can be easily harvested and applied in treatment, but allogenic cells can also be employed. The early uses of MSCs focused on the implantations of cell rich matrixes during open surgeries, resulting in the formation of hyaline-like durable cartilage. More recently, the focus has completely shifted towards direct intra-articular injections where a great number of cells are suspended and injected into affected joints. In this review the history and early uses of MSCs in cartilage regeneration are reviewed and different approaches in current trends are explained and evaluated.