Synovium-derived stem cells: a tissue-specific stem cell for cartilage engineering and regeneration

Tissue Eng Part B Rev. 2012 Aug;18(4):301-11. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEB.2012.0002. Epub 2012 Apr 19.


Articular cartilage is difficult to heal once injury or disease occurs. Autologous chondrocyte transplantation is a biological treatment with good prognosis, but donor site morbidity and limited cell source are disadvantages. Currently, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising approach for cartilage regeneration. Despite there being various sources, the best candidate for cartilage regeneration is the one with the greatest chondrogenic potential and the least hypertrophic differentiation. These properties are able to insure that the regenerated tissue is hyaline cartilage of high quality. This review article will summarize relevant literature to justify synovium-derived stem cells (SDSCs) as a tissue-specific stem cell for chondrogenesis by comparing synovium and cartilage with respect to anatomical location and functional structure, comparing the growth characterization and chondrogenic capacity of SDSCs and MSCs, evaluating the application of SDSCs in regenerative medicine and diseases, and discussing potential future directions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult Stem Cells / cytology
  • Adult Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cartilage / cytology
  • Cartilage / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Organ Specificity
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Synovial Membrane / cytology*
  • Synovial Membrane / physiology
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*