The efficacy of different sources of mesenchymal stem cell for the treatment of osteoarthitis

Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of chronic pain and disability. Regenerative therapies using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) provide an option for OA treatment as it could potentially regenerate the damaged cartilage. Bone marrow, adipose tissue and synovium are common MSC sources. The aim is to compare the therapeutic effect of MSCs from bone marrow, adipose tissue and synovium; combining its differentiation potential and accessibility, to decide the optimal source of MSCs for the treatment of knee OA. A comparison of preclinical and clinical studies using MSCs has been made with regard to treatment outcomes, isolation procedure and differentiation potential. All types of MSCs are effective at improving the clinical and structural condition of OA patients, but the longevity of the treatment, i.e. an effect that is maintained for at least 2 years, cannot be guaranteed. This review highlighted great variations in selection criteria and culture expansion conditions of MSCs between the literature and clinical trials. It also emphasised a substantial diversity and lack of consistency in the assessment mythology of clinical outcome after completion of MSC therapies procedures. A more cohesive methodology is required to evaluate the outcome of MSC treatments using quantitative and standardised frameworks in order to be able to directly compare results. Larger population of patients are recommended to assess the quality of MSC when designing studies and clinical trials to reaffirm the efficacy of MSC treatment prior to and within the clinical trials and follow up studies.