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Most people will suffer from cartilage degeneration, inflammation or damage at least once in their lives. In most cases, the knee and shoulder are involved. There are a number of symptoms that indicate such damage, including stiffness, limited movement, swelling, and pain in the joints. The cartilage is an extremely tough yet flexible tissue that is found in all areas of the body. It is the presence of cartilage that enables our bones to move smoothly over one another.

Cartilage damage, however, is typically associated with arthropathy markedly impair patient quality of life (QOL). Thus, when considering a viable treatment for the joints, only those treatments are preferred that not only preserve the joints but also control the pain.

In recent years, several studies and investigations using mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) have been carried out aiming to regenerate joint cartilage injured and degenerated during the course of osteoarthritis and other joint pathologies. These studies indicated some of the benefits of Intraarticularly-Injected Mesenchymal Stem Cells, which are as follows:

  • The interarticular joint of MSC can act as a protection layer for the joint and help prevent the progression of osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that when MSC is injected Intraarticularly in the early stages of OA, it helps reduce or remove inflammation, preserving cartilage and decreasing central sensitization
  • When MSCs were injected intraarticularly after MIA (monoiodoacetate), the expression of CGRP in the spinal dorsal horn was significantly deceased, indicating suppression of the central sensitization of pain.
  • The intraarticular injection of MSC inhibited the central sensitization of pain and increased the expression of the anti-inflammatory and cartilage protective factor TSG-6. According to studies, from the aspect of pain control and taking account of the local central sensitization and anti-inflammatory action, intraarticular injection of MSCs was considered to be effective.

Final Thoughts

All in all, the intraarticular administration of MSC appears to be the least invasive and most effective strategies desirable in actual clinical settings. This approach helps in treating the pain and protecting cartilage in the early stages of arthritis. When considering the treatment of arthropathy, it is very important to keep certain issues in mind, such as central sensitization and pain control, in the same way as other therapeutic endpoints such as cartilage regeneration and joint preservation.


Ichiseki, T., Shimasaki, M., Ueda, Y., Ueda, S., Tsuchiya, M., Souma, D., … & Kawahara, N. (2018). Intraarticularly-injected mesenchymal stem cells stimulate anti-inflammatory molecules and inhibit pain related protein and chondrolytic enzymes in a monoiodoacetate-induced rat arthritis model. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), 203.