Phlorotannin-incorporated Mesenchymal Stem Cells and their Promising Role in Osteogenesis Imperfecta
Osteogenesis imperfecta as the name suggests, is a bone disorder characterised by imperfect bone mineralisation and development. The key defect lies in the osteoblast–osteoid cycle, leading to insufficient calcification and consequently weak bones. Osteogenesis imperfecta patients are prone to fractures. Till date, numerous growth hormone/synthetic analogues have been used therapeutically in osteogenesis imperfecta patients and they do provide temporary relief, but not without numerous unwanted side effects. The intervention offered by such treatments is mainly at the symptomatic level, with temporary pain relief and some degree of mineralisation of available osteoids; but the root cause of the disease remains unattended. Such treatment modalities fail to promote mesenchymal stem cell osteogenic differentiation and tackle the fundamental deficiency of osteoids. This paper suggests a unique and hitherto unimplemented approach for treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta at the cellular level through application of a natural source, ‘Brown algae isolated phlorotannins’, which promote mesenchymal stem cell differentiation by increasing alkaline phosphatase activity, calcific mineralisation and total protein and collagen synthesis. This natural extract, when integrated directly with mesenchymal stem cells, will boost cellular differentiation into healthy bone-forming cells. The modality will strengthen the bone intrinsically and without the adverse reactions of routine pharmacotherapeutic agents.