Tag : MSCs

The remarkable propensity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for self-renewal, multi-lineage differentiation and immune-modulatory activity has attracted much attention within the cell therapy area, from their potential in cell therapies and research models to their emerging role in the fight against cancer.

MSC Properties Are Greatly Influenced by Source

Despite their great potential, MSC-based therapies have not yet made it to the clinic, and a number of challenges must be addressed before their full therapeutic potential can be realized. One major challenge is their lack of uniformity, such that MSCs vary depending on their external and tissue environment, their original tissue source, and the isolation method used.

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Written on Jul, 30, 2018 by in , ,

Cell of The Month: Osteoblasts

Osteoblasts, often referred to as bone-forming cells, are specialized and terminally differentiated products of mesenchymal stem cells whose major function is to synthesize bone in a process known as osteogenesis.

Osteogenesis

During osteogenesis, osteoblasts are organized into closely packed sheets of connected cells on the bone surface, from which cellular processes may extend through the developing bone. Osteoblasts produce and release proteins, hormones, and other materials into their extracellular environment, where they assemble to form a thin layer (approximately 10 µm thick) of flexible bone tissue called an osteoid (also known as the un-mineralized bone matrix) on the surface of a newly developing bone or a bone that is undergoing repair.

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Written on Jun, 18, 2018 by in ,

In addition to their potential for cellular therapy and modeling of developmental processes and disease, mesenchymal cells (MSCs) are rapidly gaining traction in cancer therapy. Although they are not the only stem cells with anti-cancer activity, MSCs are often preferred because of their low immunogenicity and inherent ability to migrate to tumor sites, the latter feature believed to be the result of an inflammatory signaling cascade similar to that in wounded sites.

MSCs have documented tropism for many tumor types, such as breast, brain, and liver tumors, as well as pre-metastatic niches – sites in secondary organs that are favorable for metastasis by a primary tumor (1). Depending on many factors in the tumor microenvironment, including the source and type of MSCs and the cell-surface receptors they express (e.g., TLRs), the type of cancer cells, factors secreted in the tumor microenvironment, and interactions between MSCs, immune cells and cancer cells, MSCs can promote pro- or anti-tumorigenic effects (2).

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