Stem cells are primitive cells in our body that possess the ability to replicate and produce a reservoir of various specialized cells in our body to replenish those lost through natural cellular aging or damage. Stem cells play a critical role in upholding the balance and functioning of the entire life being. Over the past several decades, stem cells have gained tremendous attention through their therapeutic and regenerative potentials for a wide range of major debilitating diseases.
There are two primary categories of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are isolated from the blastocyst of a developing embryo and have great value in scientific research, but clinical application is hindered by vast ethical and safety concerns. Adult stem cells are present in various tissues in our body and are responsible for maintaining homeostasis of different tissues. Over decades of research adult stem cells, in particular mesenchymal stem cells, have been demonstrated to be safe and of significant clinical value in the development of novel cellular therapeutics.
．Mesenchymal stem cells
．Mesenchymal stem cells
Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stem cells originally identified from the bone marrow, but was later discovered to be present in an abundance of organs in our body including adipose tissue. Mesenchymal stem cells can activate regeneration in a damaged tissue through paracrine secretory functions, are capable of regulating the immune system of the body, and can generate a multitude of specialized cell types to upkeep the normal functioning of numerous tissues.
Mesenchymal stem cells have been demonstrated to be donor-safe and do not elicit rejection in non-matched recipients, and are being tested in clinical trials for a broad range of major debilitating disease of the heart, brain, liver, joint, metabolism , skin and many more. Mesenchymal stem cells ard of most clinical value disease and preventative treatment.
Diabetes is a chronic condition characterized by the inability of our body to regulate glucose metabolism, leading to a build up in the blood stream. The inability to maintain precise blood glucose levels is elicited by two primary causes:
(1)the inadequate production of insulin as a consequence of immune destruction of insulin producing cells in our pancreas, and (2)the inability of our body to detect and respond to insulin signals.
Mesenchymal stem cells not only can modulate the immune functioning to prevent further destruction of insulin producing cells, but also enumerate the quantity and sensitivity of biological receptors responsible for detecting insulin signals, leading to an amelioration of blood glucose levels and improvement in various clinical symptoms.Cell Transplantation. 2012, 21(5): 997-1009.
Cardiovascular disease such as ischemic heart failure is characterized by severe damage of the heart as a result of reduced blood supply in the arteries of the tissue. Consequent to the damage of this circulatory pump in our body is the inadequate supply of blood to various tissues and organs, leading to various conditions and majoy limitations in lifestyle as well as quality.
Mesenchymal stem cells have been shown to stimulate the formation of new vasculature in the damaged heart, increase blood circulation, and replace the damaged heart tissue with healthy cardiomycytes. Treatments with mesenchymal stem cells have lead to improvements in heart wall motion, ejection fraction, and overall quality of life of the patients.
J Am Coll Cardiol. 2009, 54:2277-2286.
Neurological diseases such as Spinocerebellar ataxia is a chronic disease characterized by the progressive deterioration in the functioning of the cerebellum. Mesenchymal stem cells have shown to exert a neruo-protective effect on Purkinje cells in the brain to delay atrophy, and promote regeneration of neurological cells lost. Clinical studies have shown to ameliorate disease symptoms and improve motor functioning.
J Biomed Sci. 2011, 18:54
Osteoarthritis knee is a disease characterized by the progressive loss of cartilage tissue, leading to exposure of the bone surfaces in the knee joint. The reduction of cartilage tissue to protect the joint from wear and tear and impact damage leads to chronic inflammation, characterized by severe pain and restricted joint motion.
Transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells into the knee joint not only effectively ameliorated the inflammatory symptoms achieving pain relief, but promoted growth of cartilage tissue on the joint surfaces and restoring the range of motion and functioning of the knee.
Pain Physician. 2008, 11:343-353.
The unique immune-modulatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells maks possible the treatment of various acute diseases with ready to use off-the-shelf stem cell therapeutics.
The ability to regulate the functioning of various immune cell types in our body including T-cells, B-cells, NK cells and dendritic cells, has brought cure to life threatening diseases such as graft-versus=host disease resulting from bone marrow transplantation. In addition, mesenchymal stem cells can recalibrate the functioning of immune cells in incurable autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn's disease. Lancet. 2008, 371:1579-1586