Concise Review: Mesenchymal Stem/Multipotent Stromal Cells: The State of Transdifferentiation and Modes of Tissue Repair—Current Views
Article first published online: 27 SEP 2007
Copyright © 2007 AlphaMed Press
Volume 25, Issue 11, pages 2896–2902, November 2007
How to Cite
Phinney, D. G. and Prockop, D. J. (2007), Concise Review: Mesenchymal Stem/Multipotent Stromal Cells: The State of Transdifferentiation and Modes of Tissue Repair—Current Views. STEM CELLS, 25: 2896–2902. doi: 10.1634/stemcells.2007-0637
- Issue published online: 2 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 27 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Accepted: 21 SEP 2007
- Manuscript Received: 9 AUG 2007
- Mesenchymal stem cells;
- Marrow stromal cells;
- Marrow stromal stem cells;
- Cellular therapy;
Mesenchymal stem cells or multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) isolated from the bone marrow of adult organisms were initially characterized as plastic adherent, fibroblastoid cells with the capacity to generate heterotopic osseous tissue when transplanted in vivo. In recent years, MSCs or MSC-like cells have been shown to reside within the connective tissue of most organs, and their surface phenotype has been well described. A large number of reports have also indicated that the cells possess the capacity to transdifferentiate into epithelial cells and lineages derived from the neuroectoderm. The broad developmental plasticity of MSCs was originally thought to contribute to their demonstrated efficacy in a wide variety of experimental animal models of disease as well as in human clinical trials. However, new findings suggest that the ability of MSCs to alter the tissue microenvironment via secretion of soluble factors may contribute more significantly than their capacity for transdifferentiation in tissue repair. Herein, we critically evaluate the literature describing the plasticity of MSCs and offer insight into how the molecular and functional heterogeneity of this cell population, which reflects the complexity of marrow stroma as an organ system, may confound interpretation of their transdifferentiation potential. Additionally, we argue that this heterogeneity also provides a basis for the broad therapeutic efficacy of MSCs.
Disclosure of potential conflicts of interest is found at the end of this article.