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The Rise of Cytokines in Fighting Osteoarthritis With Stem Cell Therapy

March 12, 2018 by medicalmasters
Cytokines-for-Knee-Joint-Dr-Steve-Coleman.jpg

Is there a hidden agent in the healing process which could enhance our understanding and treatment of knee osteoarthritis and knee joint sports injuries?  Our regenerative clinic believes this may well be the case as we absorb fascinating new research about special protein messengers in the human body we call Cytokines.

These signalling proteins are being watched closely by leading academics & practitioners exploring new frontiers in stem cell biology, including Dr. Coleman, D.O., who has recently announced the introduction of cytokines into MedicalMasters.org suite of regenerative cellular injection technologies related to healing knee joints, hip joints, shoulder joints, and lower back pain.

Time course of knee-joint swelling in rats with AIA used to evaluate cytokine mRNA. Values are means (n = 4 to 6); vertical bars indicate the standard error of the mean. The disease is characterized by rapid onset of acute inflammation, a peak on day 1, and a transition to chronicity on day 6. **P ≤ 0.01 in comparison with day 0; ++P ≤ 0.01 in comparison with the preceding date. AIA, antigen-induced arthritis.
A study publish in Research Gate related to the time course of knee-joint swelling in rats with AIA used to evaluate cytokine mRNA

This family of messenger proteins affect nearly every biological process in the human body including, but not limited to: infection response, embryonic development and the potential for inflammation in the joint space area around the knee.

The more we learn about cytokines the more we believe they create favorable conditions for the knee joint to heal faster when paired with autologous stem cells extracted from your own body, including fat and bone marrow cells.  While we may use technical terms to classify these micro-healers including peptides, glycoproteins, or proteins, in simple terms they have a powerful, local effect on hinge joints such as the knee and hip.

Of particular interest is the role pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators play in the onset and progression of osteoarthritis. Conversely, we also have group of anti-inflammatory cytokines which do the opposite and reduce inflammation.     In other words, each time your knee painfully swells up after an injury (or gradually over time from the degenerative effects of osteoarthritis), we can partly trace the cause back to a group of “bad” cytokines, aptly labeled by my colleague Dr. Purita

The Scene of the Crime

Cytokines In Knee Osteoarthritis
This diagram explores role of obesity in aggravating osteoarthritis. It also examines how cytokines influence in the healing process.

We are learning how to manipulate both the good and bad cytokines in different approaches, all with the end goal of reducing knee pain and accelerating joint repair.   For patients with advanced osteoarthritis, we find higher levels of Interleukin 1 (IL-1) and Interleukin 6 (IL-6), two powerful cytokines in the human body that essentially “murder” good cells and produce a swelling effect in your knee or hip joint.   Joining them in this crime, is Tissue Necrosis Factor (TNF).

Cumulatively, these “bad” agents group together to halt joint repair at the cellular level.  These cytokines are immune to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.   By careful analysis of DNA synthesis, scientists have also discovered the heroes of our story, the so-called “good” cytokines which help reduce the swelling in your knee and promote joint healing.

Here Come The Good Guys

In recent years, stem cell tissue engineering studies of cytokines show that the cellular trafficking mechanisms described above also provide agents to fight the negative effects of joint inflammation.   These healing messenger proteins or “good” cytokines were first discovered in 1984 and appear to stimulate collagen growth that assist in healing knee cartilage.  In fact, they are key ingredients in stem cell therapy and cellular regeneration which we offer at our clinic.

While their names are technical and arcane, they are worth knowing since they may hold the key to getting you back on the tennis court faster or simply allowing you to walk pain free.  

Importantly, they have an effect similar to  “icing” a painful joint and play a role in tissue repair.  

Interluekin-1-Antogonist (AIL-1/IL-1A)

Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist Cytokines in Knee Joint

These agents help block the inflammatory effects of Interleukin 1 (IL-1) mentioned earlier.  They have other roles, too, but this particular healing effect is something scientists and doctors  are watching closely, including MedicalMasters.org.

Interluekin 10

Interleukin 10 (IL-10) Cytokines In Joint Inflammation

Researchers have noted the regulatory role that Interluekin 10 plays in a variety of human immune responses, including stimulating joint repair.  Specifically, it may prevent cellular damage and help maintain normal tissue homeostasis by reducing inflammation and joint destruction.

IGF-1

 IGF-1 Cytokine and Growth Factors in Anti Inflammation in Knee

For some time now, medical researchers have noted the potential therapeutic for cartilage repair exhibited by the “growth” cytokine, IGF-1, when injected intra-articularly into the knee joint.  While this approach is challenging, mainly due to the short half-life of this cytokine, significant progress has been made in recent years which suggest its beneficial use within stem cell therapy and other injection protocols, including PRP.   

The Dawn Of Maximum Joint Healing

The human body’s blood cells producing these cytokines are thus offering regenerative physicians a “united cellular front” to to stimulate cartilage repair while reducing inflammation using the power of active growth hormones such as IGF-1.  By countering the “bad” cytokines our cellular “good guys” inhibit the destructive proteins and stimulate key cell receptors which stimulate stem cells and PRP to build up new cartilage and tissue.

Our clinic is extremely excited by the introduction of Cytokine Medicine for knee osteoarthritis and sports injuries as it allows us to exceed the limitations of standard PRP by using a variety of messenger protein applications for the patient at more affordable prices than in the past.

Osteoarthritis stages for knee pain
The stages and effects of knee osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease.

This means MedicalMasters.org will be able to offer patients hybrid cytokine treatments including oral tablets, injectables and transdermal creams, which will all work together as “cellular growth mechanisms” along with stem cell therapy and  Advanced PRP to promote joint and cartilage healing.   

It’s also important to realize that cytokines are increasingly being used as possible candidates for biochemical markers.  Both the “bad” (pro-inflammatory) and the “good” (anti-inflammatory) cytokines help determine the severity of osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease and may act as both diagnostic and prognostic tools.

As Science Magazine recently stated,  we are in the midst of a major paradigm shift in how we think about treating disease and the regeneration of damaged tissues, with cytokines being the spear tip in this endeavor.

Ask Us About Cytokine Medicine in Knee Joint Repair

We invite all readers to inquire about the introduction of cytokine medicine into our stable of regenerative cellular injection tools including Stem Cell Therapy, PRP and Prolotherapy.    

Our same-day, minimally invasive orthopedic procedures are showing great promise for those suffering from knee pain, arthritis, and sports injuries (which include partial tears ofthe ACL, MCL tears and Meniscus).  Since we harvest the stem cells (autologously) from your own body there are no major issues with immunity or rejection. This combination of hematopoietic stem cells or bone marrow with mesenchymal stem cells found in fat tissue (adipose) help promote tissue and cartilage regeneration.  

Both of these sources are valuable but offer different advantages especially when paired with cytokine medicine.  By implementing a functional or integrative medicinal approach to patient healing we can tackle a number of soft tissue and cartilage injuries in the various joint areas.  These include shoulder bursitis, partial rotator cuff tears, tendonitis (including tennis elbow and achilles tendonitis) and aging-related knee joint issues.

Since cytokines are a key part of stem cell differentiation, we can now extend our capabilities further to minimize inflammation and stimulate tissue repair.

We expect Cytokine Medicine to become a powerful new tool in our regenerative clinic over the next few years and we look forward to sharing these results in upcoming patient success stories.

 


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