Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) can morph into a number of different tissues and thus is proving a natural protector, healer and antibiotic maker according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University. Mesenchymal stem cells have been much lauded in Regenerative Medicine as the key to growing new organs to replace those damaged or destroyed by violence or disease. Additionally scientists who have been manipulating the cells to build replacement parts have been finding the cells are strong solutions to a growing list of medical conditions.
Researchers around the world have been using the cells in a broad range of preclinical animal models of disease and injury and in human clinical trials during the last decade.
By injecting MSCs into damaged tissue or infusing them into the blood stream, the therapy appears to have muted damage or cured such diverse conditions and disorders as acute heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, tendonitis, juvenile diabetes, radiation syndrome, arthritis, amyotrophic lateral syndrome, burns, wounds and more. Most of the research has been done using cells from bone marrow, but results using cells extracted from fat, umbilical cord and muscle have shown similar if not identical potential.
The paper discusses existing evidence that leads them to propose that during local injury, MSCs are released from their perivascular location, become activated, and establish a regenerative microenvironment by secreting bioactive molecules and regulating the local immune response.
The Mesenchymal Stem Cell, “is a drugstore that functions at the local site of injury to provide all the medicine that site requires for its successful regeneration,” said Arnold Caplan, professor of biology at Case Western Reserve, and lead author of the paper.
The MSC: An Injury Drugstore
Arnold I. Caplan, and Diego Correa
Cell Stem Cell, Volume 9, Issue 1, 8 July 2011, Pages 11-15. Available online 7 July 2011.