, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 42-50
Date: 11 Mar 2008

Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy for Protection and Repair of Injured Vital Organs

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Recently there has been a paradigm shift in what is considered to be the therapeutic promise of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in diseases of vital organs. Originally, research focused on MSCs as a source of regenerative cells by differentiation of transplanted cells into lost cell types. It is now clear that trophic modulation of inflammation, cell death, fibrosis, and tissue repair are the main mechanisms of MSC therapy. Delivery of growth factors, cytokines, and other signaling molecules secreted by MSCs is often sufficient to obtain the therapeutic effects. In this article, we provide an overview of the current knowledge on trophic mechanisms of MSC therapy in disease models of vital organs. Important issues regarding the optimal delivery methods of MSC therapy are discussed and critical gaps in our knowledge hampering experimental progress and clinical implementation are identified.

van Poll and Parekkadan contributed equally to this work.