Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are advantageous over other stem cells types for a variety of reasons. First, they avoid the ethical issues that surround embryonic stem cell research.
Second, repeated studies have found MSCs to be immuno-privileged, which make them an advantageous cell type for allogeneic transplantation. MSCs reduce both the risks of rejection and complications of transplantation.
Third, there have been advances in the use of autologous mesenchymal stem cells to regenerate human tissues, including cartilage, meniscus, tendons, and bone fractures, because MSCs can exert regenerative effects through honing to sites of damage, paracrine signalling, regulating the immune response, and affecting the microenvironment.
In combination, these traits make MSCs of intense therapeutic interest, because they represent a population of cells with the potential to treat a wide range of acute and degenerative diseases. [Read more…]