We investigated whether mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in synovial fluid (SF) increased in the knee with degenerated cartilage and osteoarthritis. SF was obtained from the knee joints of 22 patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury during ACL reconstruction, and cartilage degeneration was evaluated arthroscopically. SF was also obtained from the knee joints of 6 healthy volunteers, 20 patients with mild osteoarthritis, and 26 patients with severe osteoarthritis, in which the grading was evaluated radiographically. The cell component in the SF was cultured for analyses. Synovium (SYN) and bone marrow (BM) were also harvested during total knee arthroplasties. The MSC number in SF was correlated with the cartilage degeneration score evaluated by arthroscopy. The MSC number in the SF was hardly noticed in normal volunteers, but it increased in accordance with the grading of osteoarthritis. Though no significant differences were observed regarding surface epitopes, or differentiation potentials, the morphology and gene profiles in SF MSCs were more similar to those in SYN MSCs than in BM MSCs. We listed 20 genes which were expressed higher in both SYN MSCs and SF MSCs than in BM MSCs, and 3 genes were confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR. MSCs in SF increased along with degenerated cartilage and osteoarthritis.
- Cartilage degeneration
- Mesenchymal stem cells
- Synovial fluid
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine