Why Mesenchymal Stem/Progenitor Cell Heterogeneity in Specific Environments?
—Implications for Tissue Engineering Applications Following Injury or Degeneration of Connective Tissues


Mesenchymal stem/progenitor cells (MSC/MPC) from a variety of tissue sources (bone marrow, adipose tissue, fat pads, synovial membranes, synovial fluid, skin, muscle and periosteal tissue) have been widely applied for tissue engineering applications to generate replacements for injured or degenerated tissues. Alternatively, they have also been injected as free cells in an attempt to facilitate in vivo repair. Nearly all studies reported have used mixed cell populations of MSC/MPC, usually defined by cell surface phenotypes and/or functional ability to differentiate towards multiple cell lineages. Using more detailed cell surface phenotyping and limiting dilution approaches to isolate individual MSC/MPC clones have indicated that such mixed cell populations are very heterogeneous. In addition subsets of cells from different sources may have epigenetic modifications. While it is clear that MSC/MPC cells exhibit heterogeneity, the question of why this is the case has not been well addressed. This review will address some of these issues, as well as provide some insights into the implications when using such diverse cells for tissue engineering applications.

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Hart, D. (2014) Why Mesenchymal Stem/Progenitor Cell Heterogeneity in Specific Environments?
—Implications for Tissue Engineering Applications Following Injury or Degeneration of Connective Tissues. Journal of Biomedical Science and Engineering, 7, 526-532. doi: 10.4236/jbise.2014.78054.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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