Mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stromal cells that have the ability to differentiate, or become, a variety of cell types, including bone cells, cartilage cells, fat cells, and muscle cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are ideal for treating many kinds of injuries and disease, and can be derived from many different kinds of tissue including; bone marrow, adipose tissue, cord blood and cord tissue. Studies have been conducted using MSC derived from each of the different types of tissue and there is a lot of debate about what type of MSC is best for the treatment of different conditions.
Most research has been conducted with MSCs derived from bone marrow and these cells have become the “gold standard” when discussing stem cell therapy. However, researchers are learning more everyday about the different properties of MSCs depending on what type of tissue they are derived from and there are many factors to consider when choosing what type of MSC to use to treat different conditions.
Mesenchymal stem cells were first used in human subjects in 19951 and have become the most clinically studied cell therapy worldwide. Recent studies are showing the most important factor to consider when choosing the type of MSC to use, is the age of the donor.2-5 This means autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue and bone marrow have several limitations including:
- It is challenging to obtain a sufficient number of viable MSCs from elderly patients.
- It is difficult to isolate high quality viable MSCs from patients with inflammatory, autoimmune, neurodegenerative and genetic diseases as these cells might be affected by the disease.
- MSCs obtained from obese patients have impaired proliferation and differentiation
For these reasons, mesenchymal stem cells derive from human umbilical cord blood and/or tissue are becoming a more attractive treatment option. The Stem Cells Transplant Institute recommends mesenchymal stem cells derived from umbilical cord tissue for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative disease, immune mediated disease and osteoarthritis.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Cardiovascular Disease
Mesenchymal stem cells are one of the most promising treatment options from cardiovascular disease and myocardial repair because:
- They have the ability to become cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells8-10
- Clinical trials have shown they are able to replace damaged myocardial tissue6,7
- Research has shown the paracrine activity of MSCs promote cardiac cell survival, proliferation, and differentiation through secreted bioactive factors such a VEGF and extracellular vesicles.11-13
Cardiovascular disease is also sometimes referred to as heart disease and includes coronary artery disease, heart arrhythmias, congenital birth defects, heart attack and stroke.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Neurodegenerative Disease
Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) can promote the release of acetylcholine, promote neurogenesis and synaptic formation and can reduce oxidative stress and cell death. Research is showing hUC-MSCs to be a better alternative to allogeneic stem cells because of their hypo-immunogenicity, superior tropism, high differentiation potential and paracrine activity.10-13
Evidence suggests HUC-MSCs can differentiate into a variety of neuro-regulatory molecules and can elevate several factors including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), Glucagon-like pepetide-1 (GLP-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).9Neural stem cells transplanted at sites of nerve injury are thought to promote functional recovery by producing trophic factors that induce survival and regeneration of host neurons. Intravenously administered mesenchymal stem cells are also capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier and effectively migrating to regions of neural injury, without inducing tumor growth or an immune response.
Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) can promote the release of acetylcholine, promote neurogenesis and synaptic formation and can reduce oxidative stress and cell death. Research is showing hUC-MSCs to be a better alternative to allogeneic stem cells because of their hypo-immunogenicity, superior tropism, high differentiation potential and paracrine activity.2,3
Neurodegenerative diseases treated at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Parkinson’s disease
What are the advantages of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells?
- Abundant supply containing up to 10 times more stem cells than bone marrow or adipose derived stem cells
- hUC-MSC have immunosuppressors and immunomodulatory properties that allow their use in any individual without rejection- Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) matching is not necessary
- Greater proliferation ability than adult autologous stem cells
- They regenerate at a very rapid rate
- They are young and very adaptive
- They have not been impacted by the aging process
- They have not been affected by environmental toxins
- Umbilical cord stem cells can be administered multiple times over the course of days
- Eliminates the need to collect stem cells from the patient’s fat or hip bone reducing pain and recovery time
How are the stem cells collected?
We use only umbilical cord stem cells that are derived exclusively from umbilical cord donations.
The umbilical cord stem cells from are collected after informed consent has been given by the parent, or parents, and only after the delivery of the baby.
The collection follows strict ethical protocols ensuring the stem cells are from safe, reliable sources using a non-invasive, simple and painless procedure.
The cells are then washed, filtered, extracted, concentrated and quantified. Each step requires special training, specialized equipment and specific reagents that are validated using international safety and quality control protocols.
The Stem Cells Transplant Institute follows strict international safety and regulatory protocols to ensure they are providing effective, reproducible, high quality patient care.
Dr. Leslie Mesén, Founder and Chief Medical Officer, received the Health Excellence Award from the IOCIM (Organization of Training and Medical Research) and we are committed to providing therapies that have been shown to be safe and effective.
- Lazarus, H.M., Haynesworth, S.E., Gerson, S.L., Rosenthal, N.S., and Caplan, A.I. (1995). Ex vivo expansion and subsequent infusion of human bone marrow-derived stromal progenitor cells (mesenchymal progenitor cells): implications for therapeutic use. Bone Marrow Transplant. 16, 557–564.
- D. Dufrane, “Impact of age on human adipose stem cells for bone tissue engineering,” Cell Transplantation, vol. 26, no. 9, pp. 1496–1504, 2017.
- M. Liu, H. Lei, P. Dong et al., “Adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells from the elderly exhibit decreased migration and differentiation abilities with senescent properties,” Cell Transplantation, vol. 26, no. 9, pp. 1505–1519, 2017.
- L. E. Kokai, D. O. Traktuev, L. Zhang et al., “Adipose stem cell function maintained with age: an intra-subject study of longterm cryopreserved cells,” Aesthetic Surgery Journal, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 454–463, 2017.
- G. Pachón-Peña, C. Serena, M. Ejarque et al., “Obesity determines the immunophenotypic profile and functional characteristics of human mesenchymal stem cells from adipose tissue,” Stem Cells Translational Medicine, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 464–475, 2016
- B. Dawn, A. Abdel-Latif, S. K. Sanganalmath, M. P. Flaherty, and E. K. Zuba–Surma, “Cardiac repair with adult bone marrow-derived cells: the clinical evidence,” Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, vol. 11, no. 8, pp. 1865–1882, 2009.
- A. R. Chugh, E. K. Zuba-Surma, and B. Dawn, “Bone marrowderived mesenchymal stems cells and cardiac repair,” Minerva Cardioangiologica, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 185–202, 2009
- W. Xu, X. Zhang, H. Qian et al., “Mesenchymal stern cells from adult human bone marrow differentiate into a cardiomyocyte phenotype in vitro,” Experimental Biology and Medicine, vol. 229, no. 7, pp. 623–631, 2004.
- W. S. N. Shim, S. Jiang, P. Wong et al., “Ex vivo differentiation of human adult bone marrow stem cells into cardiomyocytelike cells,” Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol. 324, no. 2, pp. 481–488, 2004.
- J. Oswald, S. Boxberger, B. Jørgensen et al., “Mesenchymal stem cells can be differentiated into endothelial cells in vitro,” Stem Cells, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 377–384, 2004.
- R. Mazhari and J. M. Hare, “Mechanisms of action of mesenchymal stem cells in cardiac repair: potential influences on the cardiac stem cell niche,” Nature Clinical Practice. Cardiovascular Medicine, vol. 4, Supplement 1, pp. S21–S26, 2007.
- M. Gnecchi, Z. Zhang, A. Ni, and V. J. Dzau, “Paracrine mechanisms in adult stem cell signaling and therapy,” Circulation Research, vol. 103, no. 11, pp. 1204–1219, 2008
- E. K. Zuba-Surma, M. Adamiak, and B. Dawn, “Chapter 5 – stem cell extracellular vesicles: a novel cell-based therapy for cardiovascular diseases,” in Mesenchymal Stem Cell Derived Exosomes, pp. 93–117, Academic Press, Boston, 2015