Published On: Tue, Aug 18th, 2020

Researchers find method to regrow cartilage in the joints : Health

A quicker read from the text…

The researchers knew that as bone develops, cells must first go through a cartilage stage before turning into bone. They had the idea that they might encourage the skeletal stem cells in the joint to start along a path toward becoming bone, but stop the process at the cartilage stage.

The researchers used a powerful molecule called bone morphogenetic protein 2 (BMP2) to initiate bone formation after microfracture, but then stopped the process midway with a molecule that blocked another signaling molecule important in bone formation, called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).

“What we ended up with was cartilage that is made of the same sort of cells as natural cartilage with comparable mechanical properties, unlike the fibrocartilage that we usually get,” Chan said. “It also restored mobility to osteoarthritic mice and significantly reduced their pain.”

As a proof of principle that this might also work in humans, the researchers transferred human tissue into mice that were bred to not reject the tissue, and were able to show that human skeletal stem cells could be steered toward bone development but stopped at the cartilage stage.