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Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2008;40(5):815-20. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2008.01.007. Epub 2008 Jan 16.

Mesenchymal stem cells: a promising candidate in regenerative medicine.

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College of Life Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, PR China.


Mesenchymal stem cells were initially characterized as plastic adherent, fibroblastoid cells. In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on mesenchymal stem cells since they have great plasticity and are potential for therapeutic applications. Mesenchymal stem cells or mesenchymal stem cell-like cells have been shown to reside within the connective tissues of most organs. These cells can differentiate into osteogenic, adipogenic and chondrogenic lineages under appropriate conditions. A number of reports have also indicated that these cells possess the capacity to trans-differentiate into epithelial cells and lineages derived from the neuro-ectoderm, and in addition, mesenchymal stem cells can migrate to the sites of injury, inflammation, and to tumors. These properties of mesenchymal stem cells make them promising candidates for use in regenerative medicine and may also serve as efficient delivery vehicles in site-specific therapy.

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