Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering

, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 42–50 | Cite as

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

  • D. van Poll
  • B. Parekkadan
  • I. H. M. Borel Rinkes
  • A. W. Tilles
  • M. L. Yarmush


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.


Mesenchymal stem cells Cytokines Growth factors Injury Tissue injury Vital organs Liver Heart Kidney Lung Brain Regeneration Apoptosis Paracrine Angiogenesis Inflammation Immune cells Fulminant hepatic failure 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. van Poll
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Parekkadan
    • 1
    • 3
  • I. H. M. Borel Rinkes
    • 2
  • A. W. Tilles
    • 1
  • M. L. Yarmush
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Surgical Services and Center for Engineering in MedicineMassachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity Medical Center, University of UtrechtUtrechtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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