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Stem Cells. 2017 Jun;35(6):1446-1460. doi: 10.1002/stem.2614. Epub 2017 Apr 3.

Concise Review: MSC Adhesion Cascade-Insights into Homing and Transendothelial Migration.

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Department of Ischemia Research, Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Leipzig, Germany.
Department of Radiology, McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.
NeuroRepair Department, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Warsaw, Poland.
Department of Neurology, Institute of Clinical Medicine, University of Eastern, Kuopio, Finland.
Translational Centre for Regenerative Medicine, Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany.
Department of Translational Medicine and Cell Technology, Fraunhofer Research Institution for Marine Biotechnology and Institute for Medical and Marine Biotechnology, University of Lübeck, Lübeck, Germany.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are promising candidates for adult cell therapies in regenerative medicine. To fully exert their potential, efficient homing and migration toward lesion sites play an important role. Local transplantation deposits MSC in spatial proximity to the lesion, but often requires invasive procedures. Systemic administration routes are favored, but require the targeted extravasation of the circulating MSC at the site of injury. Transplanted MSC can indeed leave the blood flow and transmigrate through the endothelial barrier, and reach the lesion site. However, the underlying processes are not completely dissolved yet. Recent in vitro and in vivo research identified some key molecules scattered light on the extravasation mechanism. This review provides a detailed overview over the current knowledge of MSC transendothelial migration. We use the leukocyte extravasation process as a role model to build a comprehensive concept of MSC egress mechanisms from the blood stream and identified relevant similarities as well as important differences between the extravasation mechanisms. Stem Cells 2017;35:1446-1460.


Cell adhesion molecules; Cell migration; Chemokine receptors; Integrins; Leukocytes; Mesenchymal stem cells; Stem/progenitor cell

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