Bone defects are the cause of functional disability and the restoration of skeletal function remains an important challenge on orthopedics, neurosurgery and oral and maxillofacial surgery. Because of the limitations of the currently used techniques for the reconstruction of bone defects and the difficulties for the implementation of new therapeutic strategies, a new paradigm in the field of reconstructive surgery has arisen, leading to tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have emerged as a promising alternative for the treatment of bone lesions. It was postulated that the therapeutic action was the result of proliferation and differentiation of MSCs, replacing injured tissue. However, recent studies have shown that MSCs secrete a number of trophic factors that have a strong effect during repair and tissue regeneration. This represents a shift from a paradigm centered on MSC proliferation and differentiation to a new paradigm in which the MSCs exert their beneficial effect by the secretion of paracrine factors that induce endogenous repair mechanisms. This chapter will bring together basic and clinical aspects, focused on novel findings on MSC paracrine effect and the development of new therapeutic strategies based on growth factors, cytokines and signaling molecules involved in bone regeneration.
Part of the book: Advanced Techniques in Bone Regeneration