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Transplantation. 2009 May 15;87(9 Suppl):S42-5. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e3181a28533.

Mesenchymal stem cell homing capacity.

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Beta Cell Biology Unit, Diabetes Research Institute, San Raffaele Scientific Institute, Milan, Italy.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the stromal component of bone marrow (BM) and, at the moment, the most promising prospect for tissue regeneration and repair. MSCs are easily obtained from BM, have the potential to differentiate into several cell types, and show immunomodulatory properties. The use of MSCs for cell therapies relies on the capacity of these cells to home and engraft long term into the appropriate target tissue. During the past decade, MSC homing capacity to BM and other organs has been reported. Although the mechanisms by which MSCs are recruited to tissues and cross the endothelial cell layer are not yet fully understood, it is probable that chemokines and their receptors are involved, as they are important factors known to control cell migration. The CXCR4-CXCL12 and CX3CR1-CX3CL1 axes, for instance, drive the crosstalk between MSCs and pancreatic islets.

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