Osteoporosis is a debilitating disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Current osteoporosis treatments are predominantly bone-resorbing drugs that are associated with several side effects. The use of stem cells for tissue regeneration has raised great hope in various fields of medicine, including musculoskeletal disorders. Stem cell therapy for osteoporosis could potentially reduce the susceptibility of fractures and augment lost mineral density by either increasing the numbers or restoring the function of resident stem cells that can proliferate and differentiate into bone-forming cells. Such osteoporosis therapies can be carried out by exogenous introduction of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), typically procured from bone marrow, adipose, and umbilical cord blood tissues or through treatments with drugs or small molecules that recruit endogenous stem cells to osteoporotic sites. The main hurdle with cell-based osteoporosis therapy is the uncertainty of stem cell fate and biodistribution following cell transplantation. Therefore, future advancements will focus on long-term engraftment and differentiation of stem cells at desired bone sites for tangible clinical outcome.
1544-2241 Antebi, Ben Pelled, Gadi Gazit, Dan Journal Article Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Review United States Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2014 Mar;12(1):41-7. doi: 10.1007/s11914-013-0184-x.