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Mesenchymal Stem Cells [MSCs]

Mesenchymal Stem Cells [MSCs]

Overview of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)

Adult mesenchymal stem cells [MSCs] are multipotent stromal cells that can give rise to several cell types such as bone, muscle, cartilage, fat, and other tissues. They are believed to be responsible for growth, wound healing and replacing cells that are lost through daily wear and tear and pathological conditions.

Mesenchymal stem cells are considered an ideal cell source for transplantation. They have met with good success in alleviating hard to treat degenerative, autoimmune and pulmonary [lung] diseases. Furthermore, they help repair muscle, bone, cartilage and tendons. They also help to slow down the degenerative effects of aging. The safety and feasibility of MSC-based therapies have been demonstrated in clinical trials for many diseases, including heart, osteoarthritis, bone and cartilage injuries, diabetes, spinal cord injury, respiratory disorders, Crohn’s disease, autoimmune disease and others. MSCs have a tendency to migrate to damaged tissue sites with inflammation and have a powerful capacity to regulate immune response. When delivered intravenously, a significant portion of the cells migrate to the lungs.

Our body fat is rich in mesenchymal stem cells [although it occurs in various concentrations in almost every tissue in the human body]. With some 2,500 times the number of MSCs found in bone marrow, each millilitre of fat contains between 500,000 to 1 million stem cells. These cells normally lie dormant in the collagen matrix of the fat but can be released and activated to repair damaged tissue.

Our treatments use mesenchymal stem cells found predominantly in fatty tissue. Once harvested, separated, activated by photo-activation and combined with powerful growth factors harvested from your own platelets, the cells are returned to the body. They will then go to work, seeking out areas of inflammation, injury and degeneration. The cells can be injected to treat a targeted area of the body or applied intravenously for overall health. When injected into tissue, the stem cells tend to act in two main ways: first, by dividing and regenerating the aged tissue and secondly by secreting factors that help the surrounding cells to regenerate the tissue.

Originally, mesenchymal stem cells were thought to be the drivers of tissue regeneration. However, we now know that this is not quite accurate, following the work of Dr. Arnold Caplan, considered one of the Godfathers of regenerative medicine. Dr. Caplan developed the concept that, amongst their many tasks, MSCs will dramatically reduce (immuno-modulate) inflammation in an area affected by an orthopedic disorder. Then, when the inflammation is reduced, repair can take place.

Perhaps a good analogy is to consider MSCs as similar to Navy Seals. Like Navy Seals, these mesenchymal stem cells are very specialized, parachuted (injected) into a hostile area, and may well not survive. Their task is to secure the area so that other cells can accomplish their job. In so doing, they will have made the environment much less hostile for other regenerative cells such as MUSE cells [pluripotent stem cells that have the capacity to endure stress].

As with all treatments, the doctor’s job is to remove obstacles so that cells of the patient can get on with the business of healing the patient. However, as each person is different, results can vary, depending on age, state of health, nature, extent and location of condition and a whole range of other variables. Of course, the same issues apply to the way you respond to conventional medicines.

To determine which treatment is best suited to your needs, please contact us.

Further Reading