Mesenchymal Stem Cells - Interest Group
Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are multipotent stem cells that
can differentiate into a variety of cell types. Cell types that MSCs have
been shown to differentiate into in vitro or in vivo include osteoblasts,
chondrocytes, myocytes, adipocytes, and, as described lately,
beta-pancreatic islets cells.

MSCs are rare in bone marrow, representing ~1 in 10,000 nucleated
cells. Although not immortal, they have the ability to expand manyfold
in culture while retaining their growth and multilineage potential. MSCs
are identified by the expression of many molecules including CD105
(SH2) and CD73 (SH3/4) and are negative for the hematopoietic
markers CD34, CD45, and CD14.

The properties of MSCs make these cells potentially ideal candidates
for tissue engineering. It has been shown that MSCs, when
transplanted systemically, are able to migrate to sites of injury in
animals, suggesting that MSCs possess migratory capacity. However,
the mechanisms underlying the migration of these cells remain
unclear. Chemokine receptors and their ligands and adhesion
molecules play an important role in tissue-specific homing of
leukocytes and have also been implicated in trafficking of
hematopoietic precursors into and through tissue. Several studies have
reported the functional expression of various chemokine receptors and
adhesion molecules on human MSCs. Harnessing the migratory
potential of MSCs by modulating their chemokine-chemokine receptor
interactions may be a powerful way to increase their ability to correct
inherited disorders of mesenchymal tissues or facilitate tissue repair in
vivo.

Mesenchymal stem cells are characterized morphologically by a small
cell body with a few cell processes that are long and thin. The cell body
contains a large, round nucleus with a prominent nucleolus which is
surrounded by finely dispersed chromatin particles, giving the nucleus
a clear appearance. The remainder of the cell body contains a small
amount of Golgi apparatus, rough endoplasmic reticulum,
mitochondria, and polyribosomes. The cells, which are long and thin,
are widely dispersed and the adjacent extracellular matrix is populated
by a few reticular fibrils but is devoid of the other types of collagen
fibrils.

This website serves as a single key resource for all up to date
information on Mesenchymal Stem Cell research. It provides links to
current papers, protocols, and information about providers of MSC
research products.
 
MSCs can contribute to the
regeneration of
mesenchymal derivatives,
including bone, cartilage,
muscle, ligament, tendon,
and adipose.
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