Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been isolated not only from bone marrow, but also from many other tissues such as adipose tissue, skeletal muscle, liver, brain and pancreas. Because MSC were found to have the ability to differentiate into cells of multiple organs and systems such as bone, fat, cartilage, muscle, neurons, hepatocytes and insulin-producing cells, MSCs have generated a great deal of interest for their potential use in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Furthermore, given the ease of their isolation and their extensive expansion rate and differentiation potential, mesenchymal stem cells are among the first stem cell types that have a great potential to be introduced in the clinic. Finally, mesenchymal stem cells seem to be not only hypoimmunogenic and thus be suitable for allogeneic transplantation, but they are also able to produce immunosuppression upon transplantation. In this review we summarize the latest research in the use of mesenchymal stem cells in transplantation for generalized diseases, local implantation for local tissue defects, and as a vehicle for genes in gene therapy protocols.
Mesenchymal stem cells, Cell therapy, Transplantation, Immunomodulation, Gene therapy
Department of Animal Biotechnology, University of Nevada, Reno, Mail Stop 202, Reno NV 89557-0104, USA.