What Are Mesenchymal Stem Cells 2

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What Are Mesenchymal Stem Cells 2

Today’s episode is about mesenchymal stem cells again.
Recently, there has been increasing interest in the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to potentially slow down or even possibly regrow lost cartilage. Animal experiments have been promising and a few anecdotal reports in the literature along with short series have confirmed a possible benefit for humans as well.
Among the various tissues, mesenchymal stem cells can evolve into are skin, muscle, bone, cartilage, tendon and ligament, fat, and nerves.
Mesenchymal stem cells are relatively easy to obtain since they are abundant in both the bone marrow as well as adipose fat. MSCs have the ability to differentiate as well as replicate, given the proper environment. This last point is critical to understanding the biology of MSCs.
It is still not known what type of protection MSCs require when exposed to the hostile environment of a joint like the knee, where weight-bearing is such an important task.
It is important to know that a proper stem cell procedure done for OA of the knee involves more than just harvesting stem cells and injecting them into the joint. Selective injury administered to the area requiring repair is absolutely essential. Injury is the first step in healing and is required for stimulation of stem cell differentiation. The extent of injury required is still a subject of conjecture.


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