A study by Duke University Health System researchers has found a therapeutic approach to prevent a form of osteoarthritis called post-traumatic arthritis (PTA), caused after a joint injury, using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).
The findings from an experiment on mice with fractures showed that typically would lead to them developing arthritis.
The scientists thought the stem cells would work to prevent PTA by altering the balance of inflammation and regeneration in knee joints, because these stem cells have beneficial properties in other regions of the body.
"The stem cells were able to prevent post-traumatic arthritis," director of orthopaedic research at Duke and senior author of the study Farshid Guilak said.
"We thought that stem cells from so-called superhealer mice would be superior at providing protection, and instead, we found that they were no better than stem cells from typical mice.
We thought that maybe it would take stem cells from superhealers to gain an effect as strong as preventing arthritis after a fracture, but we were surprised