FARMINGTON – Cato T. Laurencin, M.D., Ph.D., CEO of the Connecticut Convergence for Translation in Regenerative Engineering at UConn Health Institute and his team have published a new article on how fibroblast growth factor eight (FGF-8) can control stem cells in regenerating musculoskeletal tissue. FGF-8 is an important biological molecule that plays a significant role in the formation of extremities during early development as well as during the regeneration of amputated limbs in some animals such as salamanders.
This historical use of FGF-8 sparked Dr. Laurencin and his team to investigate the role of FGF-8 in controlling the different types of tissue in the arms and legs. The team was able to demonstrate that FGF-8 stimulated similar signaling pathways in stem cells as seen during limb development, and was able to direct the formation of musculoskeletal tissue.
Furthermore, with the increasing attention towards the role of local fat in the knee joint and its contribution to inflammation, the application of FGF-8 may help in curbing the progression of osteoarthritis.
According to the World Health Organization, by 2050, 130 million people will suffer from Osteoarthritis worldwide, of whom 40 million will be severely disabled by the disease. “We are eager to see how the evolution of this research improves global public health.” says Dr. Laurencin.
This research was supported by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases under award number DP1AR068147.
To learn more, view the newly published article here.