About this Research Topic
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex and multifaceted disabling disease leading to progressive cartilage damage, often accompanied or proceeded by pathology in other joint tissues. During the last years, considering OA pathogenesis, inflammation and pain, the infrapatellar fat pad (IFP) and the synovial membrane (SM) have been proposed as a functional unit which may significantly contribute to the disease onset and progression and, in this setting, a leading role is probably also exerted by the resident stem-cell populations. Considering clinical approach to OA, the only effective and resolutive treatment for end-stage OA patients is the total joint replacement; however a full understanding of the pathological environment, including a fine characterization of the main characters of the disease, may contribute to the identification of novel and effective treatments, allowing the reduction of disease progression while enabling the promotion of tissue regeneration/recovery.
Promising alternative approaches to OA can be sought in Tissue Engineering (TE). Several cell types have been studied as potential candidates for cartilage TE and many stem cell sources are considered for this purpose including non-immunogenic mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from bone marrow, knee periosteum, SM, IFP and others. However, stem cells can be also primed by the pathological environment characterized by acute/chronic inflammation; thus, an incomplete protective activity from OA may descend despite their own immunomodulatory role. In perspective of future effective therapies to OA, the issue goal is two-fold: investigate the intrinsic features of resident stem-cells of the functional unit, considering the cross-talk with the inflamed environment and the descending outcomes; evaluate MSCs-therapy approaches both focusing on cell plasticity and eventual interaction with the diseased tissue secretome.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research and Review articles evaluating the role of MSCs populations in the OA etiopathogenesis falling under, but not limited to, the topics below:
• Development of in vitro/in vivo models of OA disease and evaluation of stem cells behavior in the pathological context.
• Characterization and mechanistic studies of the IFP/synovial membrane-stem cells and the interactions with the acute/chronic physio-pathological environment.
• Sex-related differences in the OA environment.
• The influence of OA extracellular matrix secretome on stem cells immunomodulatory properties.
• Regeneration strategies that harness heterotypic interactions between stem cells and immune cells, as well as resident cell populations in the joint.
• Role of mechanical loading environment on stem cells and their interaction with other cell types in the context of OA, inflammation and healing.
Keywords: Osteoarthritis, Inflammation, Tissue Engineering, Mesenchymal Stem Cells
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.