The transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells derived from unconventional sources: an innovative approach to multiple sclerosis therapy

  • Sabrina Giacoppo
  • Placido Bramanti
  • Emanuela Mazzon


In recent years, in the effort to find a potential innovative therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers focused on transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) due to their well-recognized ability to suppress inflammatory/autoimmune responses and exert neuroregenerative properties. MSCs are a heterogeneous subset of pluripotent non-hematopoietic stromal cells that can be isolated from many different adult tissues, characterized by the capability to differentiate into various cell lineages, and to translocate into damaged areas, providing immunomodulatory effects. To date, several encouraging results were obtained mainly from the use of MSCs derived from the bone marrow (BM-MSCs) in experimental models of MS as well as in clinical trials. However, their use in clinic is limited due to the invasive collecting procedure and the low yield of viable stem cells. Consequently, these restrictions have prompted researchers to look for alternative tissue sources for stem cells such as adipose tissue, fetal annexes, and dental tissues that could represent a novel therapeutic option for MS treatment. Here, we provide an overview of the current knowledge about the most explored BM-MSCs in MS treatment in experimental and clinical studies. Moreover, we propose that unconventional sources of stem cells, which show characteristics similar to that of BM-MSCs, and being less invasive for removal, could be considered an excellent alternative to BM-MSCs and thus could be a promising innovative approach for MS treatment.


Multiple sclerosis Mesenchymal stem cells Bone marrow Adipose tissue Fetal annexes Dental tissues 



Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Blood–brain barrier


Brain-derived neurotrophic factor


Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells


Conditioned medium


Central nervous system


Decidua-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Dental tissues-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis


Epidermal growth factor


Fetal annexes-derived mesenchymal stem cells


Fibroblast growth factor 2


GATA binding protein 3


Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor


Glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor


Glycogen synthase kinase 3β


Human amnion epithelial cells


Human BM-MSCs


Hepatocyte growth factor


Major histocompatibility complex, class II, DRα


Human leukocyte antigen G


Human periodontal ligament mesenchymal stem cells


Human umbilical cord-derived MSCs




Insulin-like growth factor




Lean healthy donors; obASCs obese AD-MSCs subjects


Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1


Myelin oligodendroglial glycoprotein peptide


Magnetic resonance imaging


Multiple sclerosis


Mesenchymal stem cells


Nerve growth factor


Platelet-derived growth factor


Periodontal ligament


Periodontal ligament stem cells


Prostaglandin E2


Human placental MSCs


Proteolipid protein


RAR-related orphan receptor gamma


Relapsing–remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis


Exfoliated deciduous teeth stem cells


Secondary progressive


Transcription factor T-bet


Transforming growth factor


Tumor necrosis factor


Tumor necrosis factor-inducible gene 6


Vascular endothelial growth factor


Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem cells



This work was supported by current research funds 2016 of IRCCS “Centro Neurolesi Bonino-Pulejo”, Messina, Italy.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© L. Hirszfeld Institute of Immunology and Experimental Therapy, Wroclaw, Poland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabrina Giacoppo
    • 1
  • Placido Bramanti
    • 1
  • Emanuela Mazzon
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Experimental Neurology LaboratoryIRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”MessinaItaly

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