Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) continue to be viewed as a source of cell therapy applications due to their immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and because of their ability to stimulate angiogenesis. In MSCs, these benefits are mainly attributed to the secretion of factors.
Despite MSCs’ known and favorable proliferation levels, multipotency, and immune response regulation, there are other important variables that should be considered when developing cell therapy applications, including the source of MSCs.
Considering that MSCs collected from different tissues can form heterogeneous cellular populations and manifest tissue-specific functional differences, the source of MSCs should be of primary consideration when developing new therapeutic approaches.
In this review, Paladino et al. present a review of recent research related to the therapeutic application of Wharton’s jelly MSC (WJ-MSC) harvested from umbilical cords and how these cells affect immune responses in comparison with other sources of MSCs.
Bone marrow-derived stem cells BM-MSCs have long been considered the favored source of MSCs and are the most used source of MSCs in clinical research. However, BM-MSCs have a history of showing mixed results and are not always recommended for use due to the invasive and painful process used to obtain the MSCs.
While other alternative sources, including adipose tissue, dental pulp, and menstrual blood, are available, WJ-MSCs are considered an easily accessible source of MSCs that are comparable to BM-MSC and have suffered less environmental interference and demonstrate higher proliferative capacity than other sources.
One of the most promising benefits associated with MSC therapy is the potential to treat inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus, type 1 diabetes, and multiple sclerosis.
Studies using WJ-MSC in this capacity have shown their robust immunomodulatory potential. Specifically, the authors of this review reference a number of studies using various sources of MSCs, including WJ-MSCs that demonstrate immunomodulatory potential similar to other MSC sources. Studies also demonstrate that WJ-MSC is a better suppressor of specific inflammatory factors, including mixed lymphocyte reaction, and possesses higher levels of IL-17A (a key mediator in the treatment of graft-versus-host disease) than MSCs collected from other sources.
Paladino et al. conclude that the available literature indicates that WJ-MSCs possess immunological features comparable to MSCs from other sources, including bone marrow-derived MSCs. The authors also call for further study to identify the best therapeutic indications for WJ-MSCs as a substitute for other sources of MSC, including BM-MSC.
Source: “The Immunomodulatory Potential of Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal ….” 11 Jun. 2019, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/sci/2019/3548917/.