Mesenchymal stem cells are a type of adult stem cell that can differentiate into a variety of different stem cells. In this article we discuss mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and answer the questions: what are mesenchymal stem cells and what are they used for?
WHAT ARE MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS?
Mesenchymal stem cells are adult, multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of other stem cells. They are sourced from stroma, the tissue surrounding and connecting organs. Mesenchymal stem cells are widely used in the treatment of numerous diseases due to their differentiation, self-renewable, and healing properties.
WHAT ARE MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS USED FOR?
Mesenchymal stem cells have been found to treat various pathologies, neurological disorders, diabetes, and bone and cartilage diseases. They are also able to promote cell survival and inhibit and control the immune system.
WHERE ARE MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS SOURCED FROM?
Mesenchymal stem cells are most often found in bone marrow, but they have also been identified in other tissues including muscle, hair follicles, teeth, placenta and the umbilical cord. After sourcing, mesenchymal stem cells can be rapidly expanded for clinical and regenerative purposes.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS
There are few different types of mesenchymal stem cells. This includes:
ADIPOSE TISSUE-DERIVED MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS
Adipose tissue-derived MSCs can be rapidly acquired in high quantities from subcutaneous fat tissue. Adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells can be sourced from abundant adipose tissue through a minimally invasive procedure. The anti-inflammatory qualities of this kind of mesenchymal stem cell are more effective when sourced from a younger donor.
BONE MARROW-DERIVED MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS
Bone marrow-derived MSCs are multipotent stem cells which constitute less than one percent of the total stem cell population. The harvesting of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells can be a painful and invasive procedure, requiring the administration of anesthesia and hospital care.
UMBILICAL CORD-TISSUE DERIVED MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS
Umbilical Cord Tissue-Derived MSCs are sourced directly from the tissue of the umbilical cord. They have a higher proliferation rate than other types of mesenchymal stem cells. Unlike bone-marrow and adipose tissue-derived MSCs, the quality of umbilical cord tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells is not hampered by the age of the donor.
WHAT ARE MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS USED TO TREAT?
Mesenchymal Stem Cells have been shown to treat many different diseases and conditions including but not limited to diabetes, bone and cartilage diseases, neurological diseases, cardiac ischemia and inflammation.
Another kind of stem cell, embryonic stem cells, have been shown to possess similar therapeutic properties to mesenchymal stem cells. However, the therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells is much greater and more reliable for a few reasons. Injected embryonic stem cells can lead to tumor growth and rejection, whereas mesenchymal stem cell treatment has little to no lasting serious side effects. Mesenchymal stem cells are also able to differentiate into many more cell lineages than embryonic stem cells, allowing them to treat a wider variety of conditions and diseases.
Mesenchymal stem cells are adult, multipotent stem cells that can differentiate into a variety of other stem cells. They are sourced from stroma, the tissue surrounding and connecting organs. Mesenchymal stem cells have the potential to treat various pathologies, neurological disorders, diabetes, and bone and cartilage diseases.