Members of the Research Team:
Dr Oksana Kehoe (Lead), Miss Mairead Hyland and Miss Rebecca Davies

Clinical Support:
Dr Roshan Amarasena (Lead), Dr Rob Butler and Dr Ayman Askari

Our team has continued to be active this year carrying out basic science work into understanding mechanisms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) progression and possible treatments.

We are very fortunate in RJAH to be able to work closely with clinicians who themselves are very interested in research.

We have been publishing our findings in Cells and Scientific Reports and  have presented our work at several national and international meetings such as the Mercia Stem Cell Alliance Annual Scientific Meeting, December 2019, Chester; the UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles Annual Forum, December 2019, London (Figure 1); the International Society for Extracellular Vesicles Annual Meeting, April 2020, USA; the joint meeting of German Society for Extracellular Vesicles and the UK Society for Extracellular Vesicles, September 2020 (virtual event).

We are very grateful to the Institute of Orthopaedics, Oswestry for their continuous support.

The projects which we are currently working are explained below. Some of our projects did not start due to the COVID-19 pandemic (ASPIRE project funded by the Academy of Medical Sciences, North Staffordshire Medical Institute, National Institute for Health Research  and Keele School of Medicine).


Figure 1. PhD students, Mairead Hyland and Rebecca Davies are presenting at the UKEV 2019 meeting, London, December 2019.


Rheumatology Projects

Syndecan-3 regulates MSC adhesion, ERK and AKT signaling in vitro and its deletion enhances MSC efficacy in a model of inflammatory arthritis in vivo (Preclinical studies)

Fiona K Jones†, Andrei Stefan, Alasdair G Kay, Mairead Hyland, Rebecca Morgan, Nicholas R Forsyth, Addolorata Pisconti† and Oksana Kehoe

†Stony Brook University, NY, USA

Funded by Keele University School of Medicine, Oswestry Rheumatology Association and Orthopaedic Institute

Exploring the anti-inflammatory potential of extracellular vesicles from umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells

Mairead Hyland, Claire Mennan, Daniel Tonge†, Emma Wilson#, Aled Clayton*#, Oksana Kehoe

Keele University, #University of Chester; *#Cardiff University

Funded by the RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital Charity, Keele ACORN and Orthopaedic Institute.

Determining the role of microRNAs in extracellular vesicles produced by hypoxia-preconditioned mesenchymal stem cells in inflammation

Rebecca Davies, Karina Wright, Charlotte Hulme, Mark Platt†, Oksana Kehoe

†Loughborough University

 Funded by EPSRC/MRC Doctoral Training Centre in Regenerative Medicine

Psoriatic Arthritis: a Pilot study to Stratify biologic therapies (PSAPS)

Roshan Amarasena,  Jan Herman Kuiper,  Oksana Kehoe

Funded by RJAH Hospital Charitable Fund

Uncovering the role of proteoglycans in exosome biogenesis for improved regenerative medicine therapies

Rebecca Morgan, Cathy Merry*, Oksana Kehoe,
*University of Nottingham

Funded by EPSRC/MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine

Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles as Therapeutic Agents for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Mairead Hyland, Claire Mennan, Karina Wright, Roshan Amarasena*, Emma Wilson#, Aled Clayton*#, Oksana Kehoe
* RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; #University of Chester; *#Cardiff University

Funded by the Orthopaedic Institute

Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Extracellular Vesicles Attenuate Disease Severity in Inflammatory Arthritis

Alasdair Kay, Rebecca Morgan, Mairead Hyland, Andrei Stefan, Oksana Kehoe

Funding was provided by the Orthopaedic Institute Ltd, Oswestry Rheumatology Association and RJAH Hospital Charity

The in vitro effect of syndecan-3 gene knockout on bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells’ properties (Preclinical studies)

Andrei Stefan, Alasdair Kay, Nick Forsyth, Fiona Jones*, Dada Pisconti*, Oksana Kehoe
*University of Liverpool

Funded by Orthopaedic Institute, Keele University School of Medicine and Oswestry Rheumatology Association