New Approaches to Mesenchymal Stem Cell Therapy
Martin L. Yarmush, M.D., Ph.D.
Paul and Mary Monroe Chair, Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Rutgers University
Recently, there has been a paradigm shift in what is considered to be the therapeutic promise of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in diseases of vital organs. Originally, research focused on MSCs as a source of regenerative cells through the differentiation of transplanted cells into lost cell types. It is now clear that trophic modulation of inflammation, cell death, fibrosis, and tissue repair are primary mechanisms of MSC therapy. This has been clarified in studies where delivery of growth factors, cytokines, and other signaling molecules secreted by MSCs is often sufficient to obtain the therapeutic effects. In this presentation, examples of MSC therapy in disease models of vital organs using models of acute liver failure, acute renal injury, and spinal cord injury were described.