Wharton’s jelly (WJ) is a gelatinous tissue within the umbilical cord that contains myofibroblast-like stromal cells. A unique cell population of WJ that has been suggested as displaying the stemness phenotype is the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Because MSCs’ stemness and immune properties appear to be more robustly expressed and functional which are more comparable with fetal than adult-derived MSCs, MSCs harvested from the “young” WJ are considered much more proliferative, immunosuppressive, and even therapeutically active stem cells than those isolated from older, adult tissue sources such as the bone marrow or adipose.
The umbilical cord has become an increasingly used source of mesenchymal stromal cells for preclinical and, more recently, clinical studies. Despite the increased activity, several aspects of this cell population have been under-appreciated.
Variations in allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell harvest levels from human tissues reflect the evolving nature of the field, patient demographic characteristics, and differences in harvest and isolation techniques. At present,Wharton’s jelly tissue yields the highest concentration of allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells.
Pluripotent stem cells have the remarkable self-renewal ability and are capable of differentiating into multiple diverse cells. There is increasing evidence that the aging process can have adverse effects on stem cells. As stem cells age, their renewal ability deteriorates and their ability to differentiate into the various cell types is altered.
Telomerase expression is restricted in human cells and so telomeres shorten throughout our lives, providing a tumor suppressor mechanism that limits cell proliferation. As a trade-off, continuous telomere erosion results in replicative senescence and contributes to aging.
In adults, human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) are found in vivo at low frequency and are defined by their capacity to differentiate into bone, cartilage, and adipose tissue, depending on the stimuli and culture conditions under which they are expanded. Although MSCs were initially hypothesized to be the panacea for regenerating tissues, MSCs appear to be more important in therapeutics to regulate the immune response invoked in settings such as tissue injury, transplantation, and autoimmunity.
The amniotic membrane (AM) and amniotic fluid (AF) have a long history of use in surgical and prenatal diagnostic applications, respectively. In addition, the discovery of cell populations in AM and AF which are widely accessible, nontumorigenic and capable of differentiating into a variety of cell types has stimulated a flurry of research aimed at characterizing the cells and evaluating their potential utility in regenerative medicine.
The considerable therapeutic potential of human multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) has generated markedly increasing interest in a wide variety of biomedical disciplines. However, investigators report studies of MSC using different methods of isolation and expansion, and different approaches to characterizing the cells. Thus it is increasingly difficult to compare and contrast study outcomes, which hinders progress in the field.
Cytokines are small secreted proteins released by cells have a specific effect on the interactions and communications between cells. Cytokine is a general name; other names include lymphokine (cytokines made by lymphocytes), monokine (cytokines made by monocytes), chemokine (cytokines with chemotactic activities), and interleukin (cytokines made by one leukocyte and acting on other leukocytes).
Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) offer great potential for diverse clinical applications. However, conventional systemic infusion of MSCs limits their therapeutic benefit, since intravenously (IV) infused cells become entrapped in the lungs where their dwell time is short. Methods. To explore possible alternatives to IV infusion, we used in vivo optical imaging to track the bio-distribution and survival of 1 million bioluminescent MSCs administered IV, intraperitoneally (IP), subcutaneously (SC) and intramuscularly (IM) in healthy athymic mice