Researchers Review the “Biological Properties and Therapeutic Potential” of Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Researchers from Italy conducted a literature review of 83 articles about the biological properties and therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells derived from Wharton’s Jelly of the human umbilical cord, and published the key learnings in 2019 in the International Journal of Stem Cells.1 The following is

a summary of their findings.

You can access the full article at

Studies indicated WJ-MSCs could be used to treat:1-7

  • Neurological disorders
  • Kidney injury
  • Lung injury
  • Orthopedic injury
  • Liver injury
  • Certain cancers

The Following Properties Make WJ-MSCs Optimal Candidates for Allogenic Transplant1

  • WJ-MSCs have potent regenerative and immunomodulatory capabilities
  • WJ-MSCs are capable of immune suppression and immune avoidance
  • WJ-MSCs express very low levels of Human Leukocyte Antigen class I and zero expression of Human Leukocyte Antigen DR
  • WJ-MSCs induce expansion of regulatory T cells and in vitro, do not generate immune responses from regulatory T cells
  • WJ-MSCs produce tolerogenic Interluekin-10 and Transforming Growth Factor-B
  • WJ-MSCs express Interluekin-6 and vascular endothelial growth factor
  • WJ-MSCs exhibit therapeutic features similar to embryonic stem cells including, antigen Tra-1-60, Tra-1-81, SSEA-1, SSEA-4, and pluripotency genes Oct-4 gene, NANOG, and SOX-2.

The authors found seven studies currently registered on that are investigating the safety and or efficacy of WJ-MSCs in known disease. Those studies include:

  1. Clinical trial NCT0129-1329, investigating the efficacy of intracoronary WJ-MSCs following myocardial infarction
  2. Clinical trial NCT0236-8587, investigating the safety and efficacy of WJ-MSCs in patients with ischemic cardiomyopathy
  3. Clinical trial NCT0288-1476, investigating the tolerability of WJ-MSCs in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  4. Clinical trial NCT0294-5449, for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with diabetes
  5. Clinical trial NCT0300-3364, evaluating the efficacy of WJ-MSCs for the treatment of chronic, traumatic spinal cord injury
  6. Clinical trial NCT0296-3727 for the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee
  7. Clinical trial NCT0216-6294, evaluating the efficacy of WJ-MSCs for the treatment of non-healing diabetic foot ulcers

The Authors’ Conclusion:

“Considering the increasing interest in the role of stem cells in regenerative medicine, the need for immunomodulatory treatment with lighter side effects and the spreading of allogenic transplantation as a therapy for consolidating haematological neoplasm as well as a saving therapy in several intractable diseases, WJ appears to play a leading role in the future of medicine and be the fulcrum of the newest research.”1

Stem Cell Therapy at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute

At the Stem Cells Transplant Institute in Costa Rica we offer

  1. Adult mesenchymal stem cells cultured and expanded from human umbilical cord tissue
  2. Adults mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord blood
  3. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from adipose tissue
  4. Autologous mesenchymal stem cells derived from bone marrow

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.

Our clinic has access to four sources of adult mesenchymal stem cells and has the equipment to culture and expand cells, increasing the number of viable mesenchymal stem cells. This allows our physicians to select the optimal treatment for each individual patient based on his or her disease, symptoms and individual needs.

Umbilical cord derived MSCs (HUCT-MSC)

Based on clinical research, we use umbilical cord stem cells (UCMSCs) for the treatment of certain conditions such as neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and inflammatory diseases. We offer two types of umbilical cord derived mesenchymal stem cells:

  1. Human umbilical cord tissue is a rich source of mesenchymal stem cells and each vial contains more than 120 million viable mesenchymal stem cells. It is an extensive process requiring the stem cells to be derived, cultured, expanded and tested over three weeks prior to use at the Stem Cells Transplant Institute. These cells are able to repair tissue, modulate the immune system and reduce inflammation and are very effective for treating neurodegenerative and immune mediated disease.
  2. Cord blood. We offer clinical trial grade stem cell concentrate from umbilical cord blood with 33 million nucleated stem cells with 1 million mesenchymal stem cells. These cells support tissue regeneration and revascularization and are very effective for treating age-related, degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and erectile dysfunction.

UCMSCs are derived from umbilical cord donations after informed consent has been given by the parent or parents and after the baby has been delivered. The procedure is safe and painless for both the child and mother.

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

Contact the Stem Cells Transplant Institute today to learn more about the benefits of stem cell therapy.


Scientific References:

  1. Luigi Marino, Maria Antonietta Castaldi, Rosa Rosamilio, Enrico Ragni, Rosa Vitolo, Caterina Fulgione, Salvatore Giovanni, Castaldi, Bianca Serio, Rosario Bianco, Maurizio Guida, Carmine Selleri. Mesenchymal Stem Cells from Wharton’s Jelly of the Human Umbilical Cord: Biological Properties and Therapeutic Potential. International Journal of Stem Cells Vol. 12, No. 2, 2019
  2. Kuroda Y, Kitada M, Wakao S, Dezawa M. Mesenchymal stem cells and umbilical cord as sources for schwann cell differentiation: their potential in peripheral nerve repair. Open Tissue Eng Regen Med J 2011;4:54-63
  1. Du T, Zou X, Cheng J, Wu S, Zhong L, Ju G, Zhu J, Liu G, Zhu Y, Xia S. Human Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stromal cells reduce renal fibrosis through induction of native and foreign hepatocyte growth factor synthesis in injured tubular epithelial cells. Stem Cell Res Ther 2013;4:59
  1. Moodley Y, Atienza D, Manuelpillai U, Samuel CS, Tchongue J, Ilancheran S, Boyd R, Trounson A. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells reduce fibrosis of bleomycin-induced lung injury. Am J Pathol 2009;175:303-313
  2. Lo Iacono M, Anzalone R, Corrao S, Giuffrè M, Di Stefano A, Giannuzzi P, Cappello F, Farina F, La Rocca G. Perinatal and Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells in cartilage regenerative medicine and tissue engineering strategies. Open Tissue Eng Regen Med J 2011;4:72-81
  3. Scheers I, Lombard C, Najimi M, Sokal EM. Cell therapy for the treatment of metabolic liver disease: an update on the umbilical cord derived stem cells candidates. OpenTissue Eng Regen Med J 2011;4:48-53
  1. Tamura M, Kawabata A, Ohta N, Uppalapati L, Becker KG, Troyer D. Wharton’s jelly stem cells as agents for cancer therapy. Open Tissue Eng Regen Med J 2011;4:39-47