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Trends Mol Med. 2005 Nov;11(11):519-26. Epub 2005 Oct 5.

Mesenchymal stem cell therapy to rebuild cartilage.

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  • 1INSERM EM 99-03, 1 place A. Ricordeau, 44042 Nantes Cedex 1, France.


Disorders affecting cartilage touch almost the whole population and are one of the leading causes of invalidity in adults. To repair cartilage, therapeutic approaches initially focused on the implantation of autologous chondrocytes, but this technique proved unsatisfactory because of the limited number of chondrocytes obtained at harvest. The discovery that several adult human tissues contain mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) capable of differentiating into chondrocytes raised the possibility of injecting MSCs to repair cartilages. The important data published recently on the factors controlling chondrocyte commitment must be thoroughly considered to make further progress towards this therapeutic approach. The potential application of MSC therapy provides new hope for the development of innovative treatments for the repair of cartilage disorders.

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