basic biology and current clinical use for tissue regeneration
Human stromal (mesenchymal) stem cells (hMSC) represent a group of non-hematopoietic stem cells present in the bone marrow stroma and the stroma of other organs including subcutaneous adipose tissue, placenta, and muscles. They exhibit the characteristics of somatic stem cells of self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation into mesoderm-type of cells, e.g., to osteoblasts, adipocytes, chondrocytes and possibly other cell types including hepatocytes and astrocytes. Due to their ease of culture and multipotentiality, hMSC are increasingly employed as a source for cells suitable for a number of clinical applications, e.g., non-healing bone fractures and defects and also non-skeletal degenerative diseases like heart failure. Currently, the numbers of clinical trials that employ MSC are increasing. However, several biological and biotechnological challenges need to be overcome to benefit from the full potential of hMSC. In this current review, we present some of the most important and recent advances in understanding of the biology of hMSC and their current and potential use in therapy.
Annals of Saudi Medicine, 2012, Vol 32, Issue 1, p. 68-77