Original articles

Cellular regenerative therapy for acquired noncongenital musculoskeletal disorders

C U Niesler, M van de Vyver, K H Myburgh


Stem cells have an inherent capacity to facilitate regeneration; this has led to unprecedented growth in their experimental use in various clinical settings, particularly in patients with diseases with few alternative treatment options. However, their approved clinical use has to date been restricted largely to haematological diseases and epidermal transplantation to treat severe burns. After thorough searching of two databases, this review illuminates the role of stem cell therapy for treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. Research suggests that successful application of stem cells as regenerative mediators is in all likelihood dependent on the ability of endogenous tissue-resident reparative mediators to respond to paracrine signals provided by the applied stem cells. Therefore, an understanding of how the pathological environment influences this process is crucial for the ultimate success of stem cell therapies. The current review presents both the progress and limitations of stem cells as regenerative mediators in the context of musculoskeletal disorders.

Authors' affiliations

C U Niesler, Discipline of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville, South Africa

M van de Vyver, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

K H Myburgh, Department of Physiological Sciences, Science Faculty, Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa

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Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2019;109(8b):58-63. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2019.v109i8b.13860

Article History

Date submitted: 2019-09-10
Date published: 2019-09-10

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