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Mesenchymal stem cells: Identification, phenotypic characterization, biological properties and potential for regenerative medicine through biomaterial micro-engineering of their niche

Kobolak, Julianna, Dinnyes, Andras, Memic, Adnan, Khademhosseini, Ali, Mobasheri, Ali
Methods 2016 v.99 pp. 62-68
adipose tissue, antigens, bone marrow, immunomodulators, medicine, phenotype, stem cells, stromal cells, therapeutics, umbilical cord
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells. Although they were originally identified in bone marrow and described as ‘marrow stromal cells’, they have since been identified in many other anatomical locations in the body. MSCs can be isolated from bone marrow, adipose tissue, umbilical cord and other tissues but the richest tissue source of MSCs is fat. Since they are adherent to plastic, they may be expanded in vitro. MSCs have a distinct morphology and express a specific set of CD (cluster of differentiation) molecules. The phenotypic pattern for the identification of MSCs cells requires expression of CD73, CD90, and CD105 and lack of CD34, CD45, and HLA-DR antigens. Under appropriate micro-environmental conditions MSCs can proliferate and give rise to other cell types. Therefore, they are ideally suited for the treatment of systemic inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. They have also been implicated as key players in regenerating injured tissue following injury and trauma. MSC populations isolated from adipose tissue may also contain regulatory T (Treg) cells, which have the capacity for modulating the immune system. The immunoregulatory and regenerative properties of MSCs make them ideal for use as therapeutic agents in vivo. In this paper we review the literature on the identification, phenotypic characterization and biological properties of MSCs and discuss their potential for applications in cell therapy and regenerative medicine. We also discuss strategies for biomaterial micro-engineering of the stem cell niche.