Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) exhibit enormous therapeutic potential because of their indispensable regenerative, reparative, angiogenic, anti-apoptotic, and immunosuppressive properties. MSCs can best differentiate into mesodermal cell lineages, including osteoblasts, adipocytes, muscle cells, endothelial cells and chondrocytes. Specific differentiation of MSCs could be induced through limited conditions. In addition to the relevant differentiation factors, drastic changes also occur in the microenvironment to conduct it in an optimal manner for particular differentiation. Recent evidence suggests that the mitochondria participate in the regulating of direction and process of MSCs differentiation. Therefore, our current review focuses on how mitochondria participate in both osteogenesis and adipogenesis of MSC differentiation. Besides that, in our current review, we try to provide a further understanding of the relationship between the behavior of mitochondria and the direction of MSC differentiation, which could optimize current cellular culturing protocols for further facilitating tissue engineering by adjusting specific conditions of stem cells.
[http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mad.2012.03.014] [PMID: 22738657]