Organ and tissue transplantation are limited by the scarcity of donated organs or tissue
sources. The success of transplantation is limited by the risk of disease transmission and immunological-
related rejection. There is a need for new strategies and innovative solutions to make transplantation
readily available, safer and with less complications to increase the success rates. Accelerating progress
in stem cell biology and biomaterials development have pushed tissue and organ engineering to a
higher level. Among stem cells repertoire, Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) are gaining interest and
recognized as a cell population of choice. There is accumulating evidence that MSC growth factors, its
soluble and insoluble proteins are involved in several key signaling pathways to promote tissue development,
cellular differentiation and regeneration. MSC as multipotent non-hematopoietic cells with
paracrine factors is advantageous for regenerative therapies. In this review, we discussed and summarized
the important features of MSC including its immunomodulatory properties, mechanism of homing
in the direction of tissue injury, licensing of MSC and the role of MSC soluble factors in cell-free
therapy. Special consideration is highlighted on the rapidly growing research interest on the roles of
MSC in ocular surface regeneration.
Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells, tissue engineering, secretome, immunomodulation, paracrine factors, ocular surface regeneration.
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