Sources and Clinical Applications of Mesenchymal Stem Cells: State-of-the-art review

Roberto Berebichez-Fridman, Pablo R. Montero-Olvera


First discovered by Friedenstein in 1976, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells found throughout the body that share a fixed set of characteristics. Discovered initially in the bone marrow, this cell source is considered the gold standard for clinical research, although various other sources—including adipose tissue, dental pulp, mobilised peripheral blood and birth-derived tissues—have since been identified. Although similar, MSCs derived from different sources possess distinct characteristics, advantages and disadvantages, including their differentiation potential and proliferation capacity, which influence their applicability. Hence, they may be used for specific clinical applications in the fields of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. This review article summarises current knowledge regarding the various sources, characteristics and therapeutic applications of MSCs.

Keywords: Mesenchymal Stem Cells; Adult Stem Cells; Regenerative Medicine; Cell Differentiation; Tissue Engineering.

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Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Sultan Qaboos University, PO Box 35, Postal Code 123, Al-Khod, Muscat, Oman

ISSN (Print edition): 2075-051X ISSN (Internet edition): 2075-0528

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