Mesenchymal stem cells: Emerging translational medicine

The term “translational medicine”, basically represents the wish of biomedical researchers to eventually facilitate patients. Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells are precursor cells may be isolated from adipose, placenta, matrix, dental pulp or bone marrow and are being used as translational medicine.

Mesenchymal stem cells Emerging translational medicine

Mesenchymal stem cells as therapeutic agent

Mesenchymal stem cells are an emerging therapeutic advancement for a wide range of degenerative and autoimmune disorders. Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be isolated from bone marrow or marrow aspirates.

They are proved to be highly competent in treating multiple sclerosis, liver cirrhosis, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus erythematosus, myocardial infarction and other disorders. Studies have shown that the qualities of mesenchymal stem cells could be greatly controlled by the inflammatory agents.

They are proved to have possible therapeutic significance to regenerate glucose-stimulated vascular damage and avert the unfavorable problems linked with cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. They have ability to overturn the effect of glucose on endothelial cell functions.

A weapon to deliver medicine

The concept of mesenchymal stem cells as a weapon to deliver anti-cancer therapeutics is not latest. In 2002, first study related to this topic, was published. Liu et al. has engineered mesenchymal cells as cancer drug delivery vehicle, which has ability to get accumulated in tumors; providing greater stiffness than surrounding tissues.

The Stiffness-based targeting is proved to be more useful application rather than cancer treatment. Cancer can be detected at very initial stages by applying stiffness-sensing technique. Myocardial infarction (MI) and other heart-related diseases are a big socio-economic trouble.

Patients suffering with early infarction are more susceptible to heart failure. Engineered heart tissue as replacement therapy has shown a great potential. Acute Myocardial infarction can be treated with stem cell injections. Mesenchymal stem cell conditioned medium (MSC-CM) stimulates angiogenesis in case of Myocardial infarction.

Therapeutic aspects of mesenchymal stem cells

Immune response can be modulated by mesenchymal stem cells. They have shown therapeutic benefit in sepsis syndrome; that can result in collapse in immune homeostasis leading abnormal anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory mechanisms.

Sepsis syndrome is a lethal syndrome causing frequent deaths. Therapies based on mesenchymal stem cells  are efficient in case of sepsis and are able to lessen the initial pro-inflammatory cascade.These therapies either utilizing stem cells or their derived capitulate, proffer promise. After lung transplantation, chronic lung transplant rejection is the main obstacle to endurance.

Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells  show an effective cell therapy in case of organ rejection or feasible even in advanced state organ rejection. The goal of production of novel translational medicine can be achieved if translation methods are achieved by vigorous methods. This primarily relates to biostatistical procedures, development of biomarkers and faster early human study plans, which requires a new science to be built up known as translational science in medication.

It may provide more reliable data in contrast to more assorted cell masses such as Intra arterial bone marrow mononuclear cells (BM-MNCs).

Scarless wound healing

Scarring is not an essential phenomenon to repair tissues of the dermis. In fact, specific mechanisms, which occur during wound healing process, are responsible for the formation of scar tissues. These cells are known to home to some tissues,particularly when injured or under pathological conditions. Mesenchymal stem cells are mediators of repair process.

These cells slow down wound inflammation and instruct wound healing cells to initiate tissue regeneration. These cells are actually responsible for scarless wound healing.


Number of different properties has selected mesenchymal stem cells as an effective therapeutic aspirant; endure extended expansion without being damaged to its self-renewal properties, display less immunogenicity and less tumorigenicity.

They also enhance regulatory T cell (Treg) expansion. They have an ability to target damaged tissues and to migrate distinctively to inflamed areas and stimulate the body’s own rehabilitation system to actively heal previously diseased tissues or organs Therefore, mesenchymal stem cells can be considered a novel translational medicine for treating various diseases.

Itrat Zahra

Research student at Kinnaird College, Lahore.... Love nature and poetry

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