Author(s): Minguell JJ, Erices A, Conget P, Minguell JJ, Erices A, Conget P
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Abstract Within the bone marrow stroma there exists a subset of nonhematopoietic cells referred to as mesenchymal stem or mesenchymal progenitor cells. These cells can be ex vivo expanded and induced, either in vitro or in vivo, to terminally differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, tenocytes, myotubes, neural cells, and hematopoietic-supporting stroma. The multipotential of these cells, their easy isolation and culture, as well as their high ex vivo expansive potential make these cells an attractive therapeutic tool. In this work we will review the information dealing with the biology of mesenchymal progenitors as it has been revealed mainly by ex vivo studies performed with bone marrow-derived cells. The discussed topics include, among others, characteristics of mesenchymal progenitors, evidence for the existence of a vast repertoire of uncommitted and committed progenitors both in the bone marrow and in mesenchymal tissues, a diagram for their proliferative hierarchy, and comments on mobilization, microenvironment, and clinical use of mesenchymal progenitors. Despite the enormous data available at molecular and cellular levels, it is evident that a number of fundamental questions still need to be resolved before mesenchymal progenitors can be used for safe and effective clinical applications in the context of both cell and gene therapies.
This article was published in Exp Biol Med (Maywood)
and referenced in Journal of Bone Research