Ethical and safety issues of stem cell-based therapy part 21

Stem cell 5


These cells can differentiate into a variety of cell types of mesodermal origin and due to their plasticity, some studies claim that mesenchymal stem cells can differentiate towards cells of neuro-ectodermal (neurons, astrocytes, and oligodendrocytes) or endodermal (hepatocytes) origin. In addition to their differentiation potential, mesenchymal stem cells posses broad spectrum of immuno-modulatory capacities. Mesenchymal stem cells “primed” by pro-inflammatory cytokines (interferon gamma and tumor necrosis            factor alpha) adopt immunosuppressive phenotype, and through cell-to-cell contact (engagement of the inhibitory molecule programmed death 1 with its ligand) or through the production of soluble factors (transforming growth-β (TGF-β), interleukin (IL)-10, hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), prostaglandin E2, nitric oxide, indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase and heme-oxygenase-1) modulate the adaptive and innate immune response. In addition, mesenchymal stem cells lack the expression of membrane bound molecules, involved in immune rejection which enable their allogenic transplantation.

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