Key Points

  • Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with progressive and irreversible destruction of joint tissues with no defined aetiology
  • All joint tissues contain resident populations of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) capable of differentiating into cartilage, bone and other tissues
  • OA seems to be associated with changes in the quantity, phenotype, and differentiation potential of resident MSCs
  • Transplantation of ex vivo preparations of MSCs to the OA joint can evoke a therapeutically useful repair response in animal models of the disease
  • The repair effect mediated by delivered MSCs seems to arise as a result of paracrine responses
  • Early-stage clinical trials, initiated or underway in 2013, are testing intra-articular injection of MSCs, mostly without scaffold in the knee, but the optimal dose and vehicle have not been established
You can read the full journal article here