Mesenchymal Stem Cells Injected Into The Intervertebral Discs Does Increase Height and Restore Lost Height From Aging

This is sort of old news in terms of how advanced our research have become. Me and the other height increase researchers have known for quite some time that many types of growth factors will lead to height increase from the height lost from just the normal agin process. The most obvious one is the BMP-7 (aka OP-1) which was shown to increased the intervertebral disk height in White New Zealand Rabbits in.

It seems that a few other source around the internet have also picked on the idea and wanted to report that apparently from just a simple needle injection of the mesenchymal stem cells into an aging adult’s intervertebral disk, their lost height can be restored.

The article below was taken from a website called Healio Orthopedics Today

New research underscores potential for stem cell use in disc regeneration

Culture conditions affect the ability of mesenchymal stem cells to differentiate into intervertebral disc cells.

  • Orthopaedics Today Europe [Archives], Issue 5

VANCOUVER, Canada — Techniques that may employ mesenchymal stem cells to regenerate cells of degenerated human intervertebral discs showed that microenvironment plays an important role in cell proliferation, as does the cells’ ability to produce extracellular matrix.

Results of three laboratory studies and one using a rabbit model that investigated these areas were presented here during the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine 30th Annual Meeting.

The concept of rescuing degenerative discs by injecting them with cultured mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) is not new, but more information is needed about the best MSC sources, culture conditions that support cell differentiation, and techniques that yield the greatest number of cells.

Me: I think we have reached the same agreement with the orthopedic surgeons. We can get height back from cultured MSCs however at this point, we just don’t know which mixture of growth factors and which source of MSCs would be the best and allow for the highest level of cell proliferation.

Also stated are these facts…

“Mesenchymal stem cells have the potential as an ultimate alternative in cell transplantation therapy for degenerative disc disease,”

“…found that within the disc environment, transplanted MSCs differentiated into disc-like cells, survived and proliferated, preserving disc structure”

“Disc height 26 weeks after degeneration was 90 ±8% in the transplanted group compared to 67 ±8% in controls…”

“MSC transplantation restored synthesis of a proteoglycan-rich matrix.”

“Our study has implicated the potential of MSCs to differentiate into intervertebral disc cells, which provides new information in MSC research”

Interpretation Of The Facts

The idea of doing transplants of cells as a type of therapy to treat degenerative dics disease is extremely possible and viable. The cells that are transplanted do differentiate into disk like cells, don’t die out, and do multiply thus maintaining the extracellular matrix environment of the annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus that they were injected into. This shows that the cells that are basically foreign objects seem to go along with how their environment is like and does not try to disrupt the collagenous and cartilagenous tissue content. The two groups in the experiment showed that compared to the controlled group, the rabbits that did get the injection got a significant amount of disk height back. The MSCs restored the synthesis of the matrix which has a lot of proteoglycan.

Furthermore, another group of researchers from John’s Hopkins University School of Medicine, the department of orthopaedic surgery at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and the Injury, Repair and Rehabilitation Research Group at the University of Manchester, England states about their research…

“…investigated whether bone marrow-derived MSCs could stimulate the anulus fibrosus (AF) and nucleus pulposus (NP) cells they might eventually interact with during clinical application…”

“…Human NP and AF cells isolated from adult degenerative discs cultured in a commercially available MSC medium yielded higher glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content, which increased over time, compared to controls of NP and AF cells…”

“Co-cultured disc cells and MSC could aggregate and produce an extracellular matrix, and there is upregulation of the GAG content between the cells…”

“…degenerative disc cells may be stimulated in vivo by implantation of autologous MSCs to restore some of the disc properties…”

“given the proper microconditions, MSCs can express a phenotype like that of NP cells”

“Hypoxic conditions in combination with the alginate culture and the growth factor that we chose, which was TGF-ß, were really optimal for achieving an NP-like phenotype…MSCs cultured in alginate and pellet culture had the most chondrogenic characteristics, forming an extracellular matrix similar to that seen in vivo”

“…MSCs grown in monolayer in basic media transfected with SOX-9 differentiated and expressed type II collagen, aggrecan and SOX-9, but not type I collagen…”

“…Differentiation improved and there was high-level matrix production using TGF-ß1 in combination with SOX-9,…”

What we are seeing is just how powerful and potentially good the MSCs can be towards height increase at least for the torso region. The autologous implantations of MSCS can stimulate increased glycoaminoglycan content. They can also turn into the nucleus pulposus phenotype with the right environment. This can be achieved using a hypoxic induced environment with the growth factor TGF-Beta. The results is the formation of extracellular matrix that is similar to the annulus fibrosis and nucleus pulposus. The other idea is to put the SOX-9 gene in a vector to alter the MSCs to differentiate and produce the right type of compounds that would form the matrix. The type of compounds the MSCs would make are the Collagen Type II, Aggrecan, and possibly Hyaluronic Acid like glycoaminoglycans that we have seen in the matrix of ordinary hyaline cartilages.

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