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Injury. 2008 Apr;39 Suppl 1:S97-113. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2008.01.034.

Concepts in gene therapy for cartilage repair.

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  • 1Orthopaedic Center for Musculoskeletal Research, König-Ludwig-Haus, Julius-Maximilians-University, Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

Once articular cartilage is injured, it has a very limited capacity for self repair. Although current surgical therapeutic procedures for cartilage repair are clinically useful, they cannot restore a normal articular surface. Current research offers a growing number of bioactive reagents, including proteins and nucleic acids, that may be used to augment various aspects of the repair process. As these agents are difficult to administer effectively, gene-transfer approaches are being developed to provide their sustained synthesis at sites of repair. To augment regeneration of articular cartilage, therapeutic genes can be delivered to the synovium or directly to the cartilage lesion. Gene delivery to the cells of the synovial lining is generally considered more suitable for chondroprotective approaches, based on the expression of anti-inflammatory mediators. Gene transfer targeted at cartilage defects can be achieved by either direct vector administration to cells located at or surrounding the defects, or by transplantation of genetically modified chondrogenic cells into the defect. Several studies have shown that exogenous cDNAs encoding growth factors can be delivered locally to sites of cartilage damage, where they are expressed at therapeutically relevant levels. Furthermore, data is beginning to emerge indicating that efficient delivery and expression of these genes is capable of influencing a repair response toward the synthesis of a more hyaline cartilage repair tissue in vivo. This review presents the current status of gene therapy for cartilage healing and highlights some of the remaining challenges.

PMID:
18313477
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2714368
Free PMC Article
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