Archives of Toxicology

, Volume 88, Issue 5, pp 1069–1082 | Cite as

An update of human mesenchymal stem cell biology and their clinical uses

  • Walid Zaher
  • Linda Harkness
  • Abbas Jafari
  • Moustapha KassemEmail author
Review Article


In the past decade, an increasing urge to develop new and novel methods for the treatment of degenerative diseases where there is currently no effective therapy has lead to the emerging of the cell therapy or cellular therapeutics approach for the management of those conditions where organ functions are restored through transplantation of healthy and functional cells. Stem cells, because of their nature, are currently considered among the most suitable cell types for cell therapy. There are an increasing number of studies that have tested the stromal stem cell functionality both in vitro and in vivo. Consequently, stromal (mesenchymal) stem cells (MSCs) are being introduced into many clinical trials due to their ease of isolation and efficacy in treating a number of disease conditions in animal preclinical disease models. The aim of this review is to revise MSC biology, their potential translation in therapy, and the challenges facing their adaptation in clinical practice.


Adipogenesis Bone Osteogenesis Stromal stem cells Regenerative medicine 



The work was supported by a grant from the University hospital of Odense, Odense, Denmark and KACST, (Project Code: 10-BIO1308-02) (KSA). The funders had no role in preparation of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walid Zaher
    • 1
    • 3
  • Linda Harkness
    • 1
  • Abbas Jafari
    • 1
    • 2
  • Moustapha Kassem
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Endocrine Research (KMEB), Department of Endocrinology, Odense University HospitalUniversity of Southern DenmarkOdense CDenmark
  2. 2.Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem), Panum InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark
  3. 3.Stem Cell Unit, Department of Anatomy, College of MedicineKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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