Targeting nonhealing ulcers of lower extremity in human through autologous bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells

Rejuvenation Res. 2009 Oct;12(5):359-66. doi: 10.1089/rej.2009.0872.


Bone marrow (BM)-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a promising population for supporting new concepts in cellular therapy. This study was undertaken to assess the efficacy and feasibility of autologous BM-derived MSCs in the treatment of chronic nonhealing ulcers (diabetic foot ulcers and Buerger disease) of the lower extremities. A total of 24 patients with nonhealing ulcers of the lower limb were enrolled and randomized into implant and control groups. In the implant group, the patients received autologous cultured BM-derived MSCs along with standard wound dressing; the control group received only the standard wound dressing regimen, followed up for at least a 12-week period. Wound size, pain-free walking distance, and biochemical parameters were measured before therapy and at every 2-week interval following intervention. The implant group had significant improvement in pain-free walking distance and reduction in ulcer size as compared to those in the control group. In the implant group for Buerger disease, the ulcer area decreased from 5.04 +/- 0.70 cm(2) to 1.48 +/- 0.56 cm(2) (p < 0.001), whereas the pain-free walking distance increased from 38.33 +/- 17.68 m to 284.44 +/- 212.12 m (p < 0.001). In the diabetic foot ulcer group, the ulcer size decreased from 7.26 +/- 1.41 cm(2) to 2 +/- 0.98 cm(2) (p < 0.001) at 12 weeks. Mononuclear cells were cultured for a minimum of five passages and characterized by cell-surface markers showing CD90+, CD105+, and CD34(-). There was no significant alteration in the biochemical parameters observed during the follow-up period, indicating normal liver and renal function following intervention. Biopsy microsection of implanted tissues showed development of dermal cells (mainly fibroblasts), including mature and immature inflammatory cells. The study indicates that autologous implantation of BM-derived MSCs in nonhealing ulcers accelerates the healing process and improves clinical parameters significantly.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biopsy
  • Foot Ulcer / therapy
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Leg / surgery
  • Lower Extremity / surgery*
  • Male
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Pain
  • Thromboangiitis Obliterans / therapy
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulcer / therapy*
  • Wound Healing