How Thymoquinone and Stem Cells Help Heal Bone Injuries

Jim Crocker
18th May, 2024

How Thymoquinone and Stem Cells Help Heal Bone Injuries

Image Source: Natural Science News, 2024

Key Findings

  • The study conducted in Samsun explored the use of thymoquinone (TQ) and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from dental pulp to enhance bone healing in rats
  • Rats treated with both TQ and MSCs showed significantly better bone regeneration and osteoblastic activity compared to those treated with either TQ or MSCs alone
  • The combination of TQ and MSCs was more effective in promoting bone formation than either treatment alone, suggesting a synergistic effect
Bone healing is a critical aspect of orthopedic and dental health, often requiring innovative approaches to improve outcomes. Approximately 5% to 20% of fractures experience delayed or impaired healing, necessitating the development of new therapies that can enhance the healing process[2]. Recent research conducted by the Ministry of Health, Oral and Dental Health Hospital in Samsun, explores the potential of thymoquinone (TQ), a compound derived from Nigella sativa, in combination with mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from dental pulp, to accelerate bone healing[1]. The study involved 28 male Sprague Dawley rats divided into four groups: a control group, a thymoquinone group, a stem cell group, and a stem cell plus thymoquinone group. A standardized bone defect was created in the left tibial bones of all rats. The control group received no treatment, while the thymoquinone group was administered TQ orally. The stem cell group received MSCs locally at the defect site, and the combined group received both MSCs and TQ. All rats were sacrificed on the 28th day, and their tibia tissues were examined histomorphologically. The findings revealed that significant differences in new bone formation and osteoblastic activity were observed in the thymoquinone, stem cell, and stem cell plus thymoquinone groups compared to the control group (P<0.05). Interestingly, while the thymoquinone group showed no significant difference in osteoblastic activity compared to the combined group, the new bone formation was significantly lower. This indicates that the combination of stem cells and TQ is more effective in promoting bone regeneration than either treatment alone. Thymoquinone has been previously shown to have beneficial effects on bone metabolism. It promotes the proliferation, differentiation, and mineralization of osteoblast cells, which are crucial for bone formation[3]. Furthermore, TQ has been demonstrated to induce the expression of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2), a key factor in bone healing, and upregulate the ERK signaling pathway, which is involved in cell proliferation and differentiation[3]. These properties of TQ likely contribute to the enhanced bone healing observed in the current study. Additionally, the use of MSCs from dental pulp provides a promising cell source for bone regenerative therapies. MSCs have the capability of self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation, making them ideal for bone tissue engineering[4]. While bone marrow-derived MSCs have been widely used, dental pulp-derived MSCs offer a less invasive alternative with high proliferative potential. The combination of MSCs with TQ leverages the osteogenic potential of both components, resulting in superior bone healing. Previous studies have also highlighted the effectiveness of using collagen sponges containing BMP-2 to accelerate fracture healing in animal models[2]. This aligns with the current study's findings, where the combination of TQ and MSCs significantly enhanced bone regeneration. Moreover, TQ's ability to increase angiogenesis, as shown in earlier research, further supports its role in promoting bone healing[5]. In conclusion, the study conducted by the Ministry of Health, Oral and Dental Health Hospital, Samsun, demonstrates that the combination of thymoquinone and mesenchymal stem cells derived from dental pulp significantly enhances bone healing. This novel approach not only accelerates new bone formation but also increases osteoblastic activity, contributing to the overall improvement in bone regeneration. These findings pave the way for further research and potential clinical applications in orthopedic and dental therapies.



Main Study

1) Investigation of the Effects of Thymoquinone and Dental Pulp-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells on Tibial Bone Defect Models.

Published 17th May, 2024

Related Studies

2) Recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 accelerates healing in a rabbit ulnar osteotomy model.

Journal: The Journal of bone and joint surgery. American volume, Issue: Vol 83, Issue 8, Aug 2001

3) Thymoquinone accelerates osteoblast differentiation and activates bone morphogenetic protein-2 and ERK pathway.

4) Osteogenic potential: Comparison between bone marrow and adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

5) The effect of local application of thymoquinone, Nigella sativa's bioactive component, on bone healing in experimental bone defects infected with Porphyromonas gingivalis.

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