Stromal cells are connective tissue cells of any organ. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), are multipotent progenitors, which were first described by Caplan and colleagues in 1991. MSCs hold great potential for regenerative medicine because of their ability for self-renewal and differentiation into tissue-specific cells such as osteoblasts, chondrocytes, and adipocytes. Recent studies indicate that MSCs resemble pericytes and emerge from the peripheral stromal region surrounding blood vessels, thus clarifying their broad regenerative potential in adult tissues. The development of uniform protocols for both preparation and characterization of MSCs, including standardized functional assays for evaluation of their biological potential, are critical factors contributing to their clinical utility. Nowadays, due to the capacity of modulating immunological responses, supporting hematopoiesis and repairing tissues, MSCs have been widely used to treat immune-based disorders, such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis. Based on animal experiments and clinical studies, the most successful clinical application of MSCs is in the field of hematological disease.
Part of the book: Stromal Cells