Autologous conditioned serum (ACS) was developed in the mid 1990s as an inexpensive means to generate an injectable material enriched in endogenous interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, a naturally occurring inhibitor of the cytokine interleukin-1 as a novel therapeutic for Osteoarthritis. The latter is thought to be an important mediator of inflammation, pain, and tissue destruction in musculoskeletal conditions. It was seen that exposure of blood to glass beads elicits a vigorous, rapid increase in the synthesis of several anti-inflammatory cytokines, including IL-1Ra. This observation is the basis for producing ACS, which is injected into the affected joint in a series of three intra-articular injections given once a week for 3 weeks. This therapy is currently available and it protects cartilage from degradation. ACS has been widely and successfully used in the local treatment of osteoarthritis and radicular compression; it has also shown promise in treating tendinopathies, muscle injuries, and tunnel widening after reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament. Experience suggests that autologous conditioned serum is safe and effective.
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