The absence of bone adhesion for a long time after a fracture is a vital problem for orthopaedist because it may lead to permanent impairment of organ functions, increase in the costs of treatment and discomfort of the patient due to the “bad choice” of the doctor. It is often a indication to start new methods of treatment and employment of drugs which could accelerate healing. Until now, a lot of methods which expedite healing and differently influence the clinical status of the patients were devised. The research of scientists from the University of North Carolina allow to hope that the new and effective weapon in struggling against the lack of bone adhesion will be stem cells.
The time of right bone adhesion depends on the place of fracture and numerous factors which may be the age of the patient, hormone economy or the way of life and behaviour when healing fracture. In molecular treatment of hip fracture factors like TGF beta 1, VEGF, PDGF, IGF-1 and stem cells take part. Among them, the vital part play mesenchymal stem cells in the bone marrow. They are undifferentiated cells which may transform into tissue such as bone tissue, cartilaginous tissue, body fat, muscle tissue and cells of the marrow and blood.
The scientists under the guidance of dr Anna Spagnoli of the University of North Carolina from Chapel Hill School of Medicine have used mesenchymal stem cells to repair fracture. Additionally, they enabled in them the express of IGF-1 which is a basic insulin-like growth factor in human body. IGF-1, among other things, induces protein production , shows protection of gristle tissues and is associated with the activation of osteocytes.
Such enriched cells were used in special mice with tibia fracture, which did not show the possibility of bone reconstruction. The results were presented on the 93th Annual Meeting of Endocrine Society in Boston.
It turned out that stem cells with IGF-I transformed into osteocytes – bone tissues – and helped in bone reconstruction by accelerating healing. The activity of stem cells with IGF-1 was confronted with a therapy in which only the stem cells were used and with the state of mice without any therapy. The results were compared by dint of CT which have proved that the bone is healing better when one would use stem cells with IGF-1. Such bone is 3 to 4 times stronger than the tissue in untreated mice. What is more, in the place of fraction the more of bone tissue develops. It also rendered that the results are much better when use mesenchymal stem cells in which the expression of IGF-1 was activated than using only stem cells.
According to the authors of the research the results are a quantum leap in the development of the absence of bone adhesion treatment. They enable to use the therapy in patients even in a few years time. It may significantly improve the state of the patients, influence their lives and give not only the patients, but also the doctors a real satisfaction of a well done work.