Mesenchymal Stem Cells 3

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Mesenchymal Stem Cells 3






Today’s episode is about mesenchymal stem cells again.
The type of stem cell that is of most interest in arthritis is the mesenchymal stem cell. These are cells that typically will differentiate into connective tissue.
Depending on the differential effects of various environmental influences, MSCs can become bone, cartilage, muscle, tendon, fat, or bone marrow.
What is of added interest is recent work outlining the potential of stem cells in immunomodulation. This area of stem cell activity though is still in its infancy. Different studies have demonstrated different effects on the immune system.
Of further interest is the ability of MSCs to migrate to the area where they are needed, to an area of injury requiring repair. How MSCs “know” where to go and how to get there and how to stay is a fascinating area of study at the moment.
So where does this fit in with arthritis?
It is well known that articular cartilage has limited capacity for repair, primarily because of lack of blood supply. What is fascinating, though, is the data in animal studies demonstrating cartilage regeneration through repair systems mediated by autologous stem cells.

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