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Mechanisms of stem cell driven cartilage repair in osteoarthritis


Osteoarthritis (OA), a major public health problem, affiicts more than 30% of women and 9% of men above 60 years of age worldwide. In this most common disease, the major problem is the inability of articular cartilage to heal. Especially, osteochondral defects due to trauma or OA have markedly limited regenerative or reparative capacity. Recently, bone marrow derived stem cells (BMSC) are shown to heal various pathologies in humans. This has stimulated our interest in the potential use of stem cells in repairing / preventing progression of osteochondral defects in OA. Therefore, we propose to examine the ability of BMSCs to suppress inflammation and repair cartilage. Furthermore, we would identify the molecules elicited by chondrocytes that are inhibited by BMSCs during inflammation, namely, cytokines, high mobility group B1 molecule, matrixmetalloproteinases, and glycosaminoglycans. We believe that proinflammatory networks are the major target of BMSCs. Identifying the fundamental mechanisms of actions of stem cells would be the first step in the identifying their potential and clinical use of stem cells therapy for cartilage repair in OA, a devastating disease of the joints. (AU)

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