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Cells. 2012 Nov 8;1(4):1045-60. doi: 10.3390/cells1041045.

Regenerative Effects of Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Contribution of Muse Cells, a Novel Pluripotent Stem Cell Type that Resides in Mesenchymal Cells.

Author information

1
Department of Stem Cell Biology and Histology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan. wakao@med.tohoku.ac.jp.
2
Department of Anatomy and Anthropology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan. y-kuroda@med.tohoku.ac.jp.
3
Department of Stem Cell Biology and Histology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan. f.ogura@med.tohoku.ac.jp.
4
Department of Stem Cell Biology and Histology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan. tshigemoto@med.tohoku.ac.jp.
5
Department of Stem Cell Biology and Histology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, 980-8575, Japan. mdezawa@med.tohoku.ac.jp.

Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are easily accessible and safe for regenerative medicine. MSCs exert trophic, immunomodulatory, anti-apoptotic, and tissue regeneration effects in a variety of tissues and organs, but their entity remains an enigma. Because MSCs are generally harvested from mesenchymal tissues, such as bone marrow, adipose tissue, or umbilical cord as adherent cells, MSCs comprise crude cell populations and are heterogeneous. The specific cells responsible for each effect have not been clarified. The most interesting property of MSCs is that, despite being adult stem cells that belong to the mesenchymal tissue lineage, they are able to differentiate into a broad spectrum of cells beyond the boundary of mesodermal lineage cells into ectodermal or endodermal lineages, and repair tissues. The broad spectrum of differentiation ability and tissue-repairing effects of MSCs might be mediated in part by the presence of a novel pluripotent stem cell type recently found in adult human mesenchymal tissues, termed multilineage-differentiating stress enduring (Muse) cells. Here we review recently updated studies of the regenerative effects of MSCs and discuss their potential in regenerative medicine.

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