Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Joint cartilage development tracked in humans for first time

December 12, 2013
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences
Stem cell scientists identify and characterize articular cartilage stem/progenitor cells at different stages of human growth, from 5th week development to 60 years of age. In doing so, a biological “road map” has been created for tracking proper development of cartilage stem/progenitor cells. Novel stem cell based therapy for cartilage damage and osteoarthritis now appears possible within three years.

Stem cell researchers from UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have published the first study to identify the origin cells and track the early development of human articular cartilage, providing what could be a new cell source and biological roadmap for therapies to repair cartilage defects and osteoarthritis. These revolutionary therapies could reach clinical trials within three years.

Related Articles

Led by Dr. Denis Evseenko, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and head of UCLA's Laboratory of Connective Tissue Regeneration, the study was published online ahead of print in Stem Cell Reports on December 12, 2013.

Articular cartilage is a highly specialized tissue formed from cells called chondrocytes that protect the bones of joints from forces associated with load bearing and impact, and allows nearly frictionless motion between the articular surfaces. Cartilage injury and lack of cartilage regeneration often lead to osteoarthritis involving degradation of joints, including cartilage and bone. Osteoarthritis currently affects more than 20 million people in the United States alone, making joint surface restoration a major priority in modern medicine.

Different cell types have been studied with respect to their ability to generate articular cartilage. However, none of the current cell-based repair strategies including expanded articular chondrocytes or mesenchymal stromal cells from adult bone marrow, adipose tissue, sinovium or amniotic fluid have generated long-lasting articular cartilage tissue in the laboratory.

By bridging developmental biology and tissue engineering, Evseenko's discoveries represent a critical "missing link" providing scientists with checkpoints to tell if the cartilage cells (called chondrocytes) are developing correctly.

"We began with three questions about cartilage development," Evseenko said, "we wanted to know the key molecular mechanisms, the key cell populations, and the developmental stages in humans. We carefully studied how the chondrocytes developed, watching not only their genes, but other biological markers that will allow us to apply the system for the improvement of current stem cell-based therapeutic approaches."

This research was also the first attempt to generate all the key landmarks that allow generation of clinically relevant cell types for cartilage regeneration with the highest animal-free standards. This means that the process did not rely on any animal components, thus therapeutic products such as stem-cell serums can be produced that are safe for humans.

Evseenko added that in a living organism more than one cell type is responsible for the complete regeneration of tissue, so in addition to the studies involving generation of articular cartilage from human stem cells, he and his team are now trying different protocols using different combinations of adult progenitor cells present in the joint to regenerate cartilage until the best one is found for therapeutic use.

With these progenitor cells and the landmarks of proper cartilage development identified, Dr. Evseenko believes that an effective cellular therapy for diseased or damaged joint cartilage could be tested in human trials within three years. Such stem-cell -- based therapies could make many current knee and hip replacement surgeries unnecessary, offering patients the ability to regrow lost cartilage, keep their bones intact, and avoid the discomfort and risk of major joint-replacement surgery.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Ling Wu, Carolina Bluguermann, Levon Kyupelyan, Brooke Latour, Stephanie Gonzalez, Saumya Shah, Zoran Galic, Sundi Ge, Yuhua Zhu, FrankA. Petrigliano, Ali Nsair, SantiagoG. Miriuka, Xinmin Li, KarenM. Lyons, GayM. Crooks, DavidR. McAllister, Ben VanHandel, JohnS. Adams, Denis Evseenko. Human Developmental Chondrogenesis as a Basis for Engineering Chondrocytes from Pluripotent Stem Cells. Stem Cell Reports, 2013; 1 (6): 575 DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2013.10.012

Cite This Page:

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Joint cartilage development tracked in humans for first time." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212123221.htm>.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2013, December 12). Joint cartilage development tracked in humans for first time. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212123221.htm
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. "Joint cartilage development tracked in humans for first time." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131212123221.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This

More From ScienceDaily

More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

This Is What It's Like To Date A Med Student

BuzzFeed (Jan. 23, 2015) Dating is now speed-dating... or studying. Video provided by BuzzFeed
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.


Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News


Free Subscriptions

Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile

Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?

Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins