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Stem Cell Rev. 2018 Jun;14(3):346-369. doi: 10.1007/s12015-018-9800-6.

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Musculoskeletal System: From Animal Models to Human Tissue Regeneration?

Author information

1
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Askerceva 7, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2
EDUCELL Cell Therapy Service, Prevale 9, 1236, Trzin, Slovenia.
3
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University Medical Centre Ljubljana, Zaloska cesta 9, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
4
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Askerceva 7, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia. matjaz.jeras@ffa.uni-lj.si.
5
Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana, Askerceva 7, 1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia. janja.zupan@ffa.uni-lj.si.

Abstract

The musculoskeletal system includes tissues that have remarkable regenerative capabilities. Bone and muscle sustain micro-damage throughout the lifetime, yet they continue to provide the body with the support that is needed for everyday activities. Our current understanding is that the regenerative capacity of the musculoskeletal system can be attributed to the mesenchymal stem/ stromal cells (MSCs) that reside within its different anatomical compartments. These MSCs can replenish various tissues with progenitor cells to form functional cells, such as osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myocytes, and others. However, with aging and in certain disorders of the musculoskeletal system such as osteoarthritis or osteoporosis, this regenerative capacity of MSCs appears to be lost or diverted for the production of other non-functional cell types, such as adipocytes and fibroblasts. In this review, we shed light on the tissue sources and subpopulations of MSCs in the musculoskeletal system that have been identified in animal models, discuss the mechanisms of their anti-inflammatory action as a prerequisite for their tissue regeneration and their current applications in regenerative medicine. While providing up-to-date evidence of the role of MSCs in different musculoskeletal pathologies, in particular in osteoporosis and osteoarthritis, we share some thoughts on their potential as diagnostic markers in musculoskeletal health and disease.

KEYWORDS:

Bone; Mesenchymal stem cells; Muscles; Musculoskeletal system; Osteoarthritis; Osteoporosis; Regenerative medicine; Synovium

PMID:
29556896
DOI:
10.1007/s12015-018-9800-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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