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      Safety reporting on implantation of autologous adipose tissue-derived stem cells with platelet-rich plasma into human articular joints

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          Adipose tissue-derived stem cells (ADSCs), a type of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), have great potential as therapeutic agents in regenerative medicine. Numerous animal studies have documented the multipotency of ADSCs, showing their capabilities to differentiate into tissues such as muscle, bone, cartilage, and tendon. However, the safety of autologous ADSC injections into human joints is only beginning to be understood and the data are lacking.


          Between 2009 and 2010, 91 patients were treated with autologous ADSCs with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) for various orthopedic conditions. Stem cells in the form of stromal vascular fraction (SVF) were injected with PRP into various joints ( n = 100). All patients were followed for symptom improvement with visual analog score (VAS) at one month and three months. Approximately one third of the patients were followed up with third month magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the injected sites. All patients were followed up by telephone questionnaires every six months for up to 30 months.


          The mean follow-up time for all patients was 26.62 ± 0.32 months. The follow-up time for patients who were treated in 2009 and early 2010 was close to three years. The relative mean VAS of patients at the end of one month follow-up was 6.55 ± 0.32, and at the end of three months follow-up was 4.43 ± 0.41. Post-procedure MRIs performed on one third of the patients at three months failed to demonstrate any tumor formation at the implant sites. Further, no tumor formation was reported in telephone long-term follow-ups. However, swelling of injected joints was common and was thought to be associated with death of stem cells. Also, tenosinovitis and tendonitis in elderly patients, all of which were either self-limited or were remedied with simple therapeutic measures, were common as well.


          Using both MRI tracking and telephone follow ups in 100 joints in 91 patients treated, no neoplastic complications were detected at any ADSC implantation sites. Based on our longitudinal cohort, the autologous and uncultured ADSCs/PRP therapy in the form of SVF could be considered to be safe when used as percutaneous local injections.

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          Most cited references 37

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          Human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells do not undergo transformation after long-term in vitro culture and do not exhibit telomere maintenance mechanisms.

          Significant improvement in the understanding of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) biology has opened the way to their clinical use. However, concerns regarding the possibility that MSCs undergo malignant transformation have been raised. We investigated the susceptibility to transformation of human bone marrow (BM)-derived MSCs at different in vitro culture time points. MSCs were isolated from BM of 10 healthy donors and propagated in vitro until reaching either senescence or passage (P) 25. MSCs in the senescence phase were closely monitored for 8 to 12 weeks before interrupting the cultures. The genetic characterization of MSCs was investigated through array-comparative genomic hybridization (array-CGH), conventional karyotyping, and subtelomeric fluorescent in situ hybridization analysis both before and after prolonged culture. MSCs were tested for the expression of telomerase activity, human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) transcripts, and alternative lengthening of telomere (ALT) mechanism at different passages. A huge variability in terms of proliferative capacity and MSCs life span was noted between donors. In eight of 10 donors, MSCs displayed a progressive decrease in proliferative capacity until reaching senescence. In the remaining two MSC samples, the cultures were interrupted at P25 to pursue data analysis. Array-CGH and cytogenetic analyses showed that MSCs expanded in vitro did not show chromosomal abnormalities. Telomerase activity and hTERT transcripts were not expressed in any of the examined cultures and telomeres shortened during the culture period. ALT was not evidenced in the MSCs tested. BM-derived MSCs can be safely expanded in vitro and are not susceptible to malignant transformation, thus rendering these cells suitable for cell therapy approaches.
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            Mesenchymal cell-based repair of large, full-thickness defects of articular cartilage.

            Osteochondral progenitor cells were used to repair large, full-thickness defects of the articular cartilage that had been created in the knees of rabbits. Adherent cells from bone marrow, or cells from the periosteum that had been liberated from connective tissue by collagenase digestion, were grown in culture, dispersed in a type-I collagen gel, and transplanted into a large (three-by-six-millimeter), full-thickness (three-millimeter) defect in the weight-bearing surface of the medial femoral condyle. The contralateral knee served as a control: either the defect in that knee was left empty or a cell-free collagen gel was implanted. The periosteal and the bone-marrow-derived cells showed similar patterns of differentiation into articular cartilage and subchondral bone. Specimens of reparative tissue were analyzed with use of a semiquantitative histological grading system and by mechanical testing with employment of a porous indenter to measure the compliance of the tissue at intervals until twenty-four weeks after the operation. There was no apparent difference between the results obtained with the cells from the bone marrow and those from the periosteum. As early as two weeks after transplantation, the autologous osteochondral progenitor cells had uniformly differentiated into chondrocytes throughout the defects. This repair cartilage was subsequently replaced with bone in a proximal-to-distal direction, until, at twenty-four weeks after transplantation, the subchondral bone was completely repaired, without loss of overlying articular cartilage. The mechanical testing data were a useful index of the quality of the long-term repair. Twenty-four weeks after transplantation, the reparative tissue of both the bone-marrow and the periosteal cells was stiffer and less compliant than the tissue derived from the empty defects but less stiff and more compliant than normal cartilage. The current modalities for the repair of defects of the articular cartilage have many disadvantages. The transplantation of progenitor cells that will form cartilage and bone offers a possible alternative to these methods. As demonstrated in this report, autologous, bone-marrow-derived, osteochondral progenitor cells can be isolated and grown in vitro without the loss of their capacity to differentiate into cartilage or bone. Sufficient autologous cells can be generated to initiate the repair of articular cartilage and the reformation of subchondral bone. The repair tissues appear to undergo the same developmental transitions that originally led to the formation of articular tissue in the embryo.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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              Accumulated chromosomal instability in murine bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells leads to malignant transformation.

              Despite recent emerging evidence suggesting that cancer stem cells subsist in a variety of tumors, it is not yet fully elucidated whether postnatal stem cells are directly involved in tumorigenesis. We used murine bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMMSCs) as a model to test a hypothesis that tumorigenesis may originate from spontaneous mutation of stem cells. In this study, we demonstrated that murine BMMSCs, after numerous passages, obtained unlimited population doublings and proceeded to a malignant transformation state, resulting in fibrosarcoma formation in vivo. Transformed BMMSCs colonized to multiple organs when delivered systemically through the tail vein. Fibrosarcoma cells formed by transformed BMMSCs contained cancer progenitors, which were capable of generating colony clusters in vitro and fibrosarcoma in vivo by the second administration. The mechanism by which BMMSCs transformed to malignant cells was associated with accumulated chromosomal abnormalities, gradual elevation in telomerase activity, and increased c-myc expression. Moreover, BMMSCs and their transformed counterpart, fibrosarcoma-forming cells, demonstrated different sensitivity to anti-cancer drugs. BMMSCs/fibrosarcoma transformation system may provide an ideal system to elucidate the mechanism of how stem cells become cancer cells and to screen anti-sarcoma drugs.

                Author and article information

                BMC Musculoskelet Disord
                BMC Musculoskelet Disord
                BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders
                BioMed Central
                1 December 2013
                : 14
                : 337
                [1 ]Stems Medical Clinic, Fourth Floor, 32-3 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-950, Republic of Korea
                [2 ]Oriental Bio Group, Seongnam, Republic of Korea
                [3 ]National Leading Research Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences, Myongji University, 116 Myongjiro, Yongin, Gyeonggido 449-728, Republic of Korea
                Copyright © 2013 Pak et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Research Article


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