Although stem cell therapy is not a new field, the field was limited to transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells. Such transplantation has provided invaluable information for the emerging field with new stem cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are an attractive source for therapy; reduced ethical concern, ease in expansion, as off-the-shelf stem cells. MSCs exert immune suppressive properties, providing them with the potential for immune suppressive therapy such as autoimmunity, asthma, allergic rhinitis and graft versus host disease. In addition, MSCs, as well as other stem cells, can be applied for bone and cartilage repair, cardiovascular disease, and neural repair/protection. The data thus far with MSCs are mixed. This review discusses the immune-enhancing properties of MSCs to explain the possible confounds of inflammatory microenvironment in the MSCs therapy. Although this review focuses on MSCs, the information can be extrapolated to other stem cells. The review summarizes the biology of MSCs, including multilineage differentiation potential, transdifferentiation capability, and immunological effects. We emphasize the key concepts that may predict the use of these cells in medicine, namely, the application of these cells from the bench to the bedside. Prospects on immunotherapy, neuroregeneration, and cardiovascular repair are used as examples of tissue repair.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)