Friday, June 20, 2008

A Fatty and Muscular Problem for Cartilage Repair

As you may know from prior posts, I've been concerned that products that claim to mobilize adult stem cells from bone marrow to blood may be barking up the wrong tree when it comes to musculoskeletal repair.  In particular, the cells being mobilized are not true MSC's, but cells which are good at muscle repair and not cartilage, bone, ligament, or tendon repair.  A recent study just confirmed this again, this time in-vivo (meaning placing muscle stem cells in a rat knee joint to see if they were capable of cartilage repair).  This study showed that in fact, muscle derived MSC's performed very poorly, as did cells derived from fat.  However, synovial derived cells and bone marrow cells (the kind currently used by RSI), performed very well at cartilage repair.  While entire industries are now springing up to save adipose derived MSC's from liposuction surgeries, the ability of these cells to produce cartilage remains in doubt.  For now, it looks the bone marrow derived and synovial tissue derived cells are the only game in town.