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Papers of the Week

2020 May 23

Hum Cell

Progress in the treatment of osteoarthritis with umbilical cord stem cells.


Liang H, Suo H, Wang Z, Feng W
Hum Cell. 2020 May 23.
PMID: 32447573.


Osteoarthritis is a chronic degenerative joint disease with an incidence of 81% among people aged over 65 years in China. Osteoarthritis significantly decreases the quality of life of patients, causing physical and psychological damage and posing a serious economic burden. Clinical treatments for osteoarthritis include drug and surgical treatments. Drug treatment can successfully alleviate pain but not satisfactorily reverse joint damage, while surgical intervention is typically used to treat end-stage disease. Stem cells are multi-potential progenitor cells with self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation abilities, and can differentiate into many kinds of cells, including chondrocytes. Umbilical cord stem cells, also known as Wharton's jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs), have become the first choice for cartilage regeneration engineering owing to their availability and convenience of collection. This article reviews the biological characterization of WJ-MSCs in recent years, their advantages compared with other stem cells, and their application in the treatment of osteoarthritis in animal experiments and clinical trials.