Therapeutic Applications of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: Paracrine Effects and Potential Improvements

Joyce Doorn, Guido Moll, Katarina Le Blanc, Clemens van Blitterswijk, Jan de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

238 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Among the various types of cell-to-cell signaling, paracrine signaling comprises those signals that are trans- mitted over short distances between different cell types. In the human body, secreted growth factors and cytokines instruct, among others, proliferation, differentiation, and migration. In the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche, stromal cells provide instructive cues to stem cells via paracrine signaling and one of these cell types, known to secrete a broad panel of growth factors and cytokines, is mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). The factors secreted by MSCs have trophic, immunomodulatory, antiapoptotic, and proangiogenic properties, and their paracrine profile varies according to their initial activation by various stimuli. MSCs are currently studied as treatment for inflammatory diseases such as graft-versus-host disease and Crohn’s disease, but also as treatment for myocardial infarct and solid organ transplantation. In addition, MSCs are investigated for their use in tissue engineering applications, in which their differentiation plays an important role, but as we have recently demonstrated, their trophic factors may also be involved. Furthermore, a functional improvement of MSCs might be obtained after preconditioning or tailoring the cells themselves. Also, the way the cells are clinically administered may be specialized for specific therapeutic scenarios. In this review we will first discuss the HSC niche, in which MSCs were recently identified and are thought to play an instructive and supportive role. We will then evaluate therapeutic applications that currently try to utilize the trophic and/or immunomodulatory properties of MSCs, and we will also discuss new options to enhance their therapeutic effects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalTissue engineering. Part B: Reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • METIS-286591
  • IR-80577


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic Applications of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells: Paracrine Effects and Potential Improvements'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this