Could stem cell conditioning improve treatment for low back pain?

Kolling Institute (Australia) researchers examine the use of FGF-2 and FGF-18 to direct mesenchymal stem cells for spinal repair

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Sep 23, 2016
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While the WHO indicated that intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration be a high-priority research area as long ago as 1999, it remains the top global musculoskeletal disorder, affecting many worldwide. As such, research into this area remains a priority.

Stem cells have shown some promise in this area. As a result, Cindy Shu and colleagues at the Raymond Purves Bone & Joint Research Laboratory (Kolling Institute, NSW, Australia) investigated conditioning of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in a bid to improve their efficacy for low back pain treatment.

Using MSCs isolated from adult ovine bone marrow, they stimulated the stem cells with FGF-2 and -18 and examined their effects on chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation in vitro. These particular growth factors both effect chondrogenesis.

With FGF-18 resulting in earlier chondrogenesis than FGF-2, both produced cell lineages with increased chondrogenesis and osteogenesis.

"The major conclusions from this study were that FGF-2 and -18 promoted chondrogenic differentiation of marrow-derived chondroprogenitor cells early in pellet culture with FGF-2 promoting matrix production and cellular proliferation, while FGF-18 delayed hypertrophy and also supported expression of osteogenic genes," noted the authors. "Selective induction of such MSC lineages may well be of application in regenerative strategies maximizing matrix replenishment (FGF-2 lineages) and osteo-integration/osteogenesis (FGF-18 lineages) in tensional and weight-bearing connective tissues such as the spine."

You can read the full study in full here.

Shu C, Smith SM, Little CB, Melrose J. Use of FGF-2 and FGF-18 to direct bone marrow stromal stem cells to chondrogenic and osteogenic lineages. Future Sci. OA FSO142 doi:10.4155/fsoa-2016-0034 (2016).

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Future Science OA

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