Considered to be one of the leading causes of disability worldwide, musculoskeletal disorders include osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, low back pain, osteoporosis, sarcopenia and myofascial pain syndrome. There are several clinical studies investigating the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells in these musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
The safety of MSC treatment in humans with osteoarthritis, a chronic inflammatory joint disease, was evaluated in a study of 12 patients. All patients had chronic knee pain. Treatment was performed by intra-articular injection of expanded autologous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC).
91% of the patients showed an improvement in cartilage quality.
Furthermore, in another clinical study, some patients were treated with an intra-articular injection of allogeneic BM-MSC (from a donor) and the same results were observed as an increase in cartilage quality.
These results were undoubtedly obtained thanks to the potential of mesenchymal stem cells which, thanks to the microenvironment of the damaged site, expressed key genes in cartilage development and type II collagen synthesis promoting cartilage regeneration.