Mesenchymal Stem Cells: The Role of Endothelial Cells and the Vasculature

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Title of host publicationStem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells, Volume 8
DatePublished - 2012
Pages105-112
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Volume8
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells/multipotent stromal cells (MSCs) are a population of stem cells that have been isolated from virtually every adult tissue. MSCs are able to differentiate into skeletal lineages, such as bone, cartilage and fat, and as such represent valuable research tools for unravelling the complex mechanisms that control fate determination and developmental processes. Their intrinsic tissue-forming capacity has also elevated MSCs to the forefront of regenerative medicine applications and tissue engineering strategies, particularly for orthopaedic interventions. However, the in vivo MSC remains poorly understood, with a paucity of selective markers and a relatively ill-defined niche. Recent work suggests that MSCs are associated with cells of the vascular system, which would permit a broad tissue distribution and may provide a form of supportive niche microenvironment. This review will provide an introduction to MSC biology, an overview of potential in vivo interactions and how this knowledge may advance MSC research and clinical goals.

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