There is a pressing need for more wide-ranging characterization metrics for mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that better and more accurately predict treatment outcomes of MSC-based therapies. This Review provides a detailed account of what are currently thought to be defining characteristics of MSCs and further considers recent advances that may prove to be important criteria when considering clinical applications. The relationship between in vitro characteristics and in vivo potency, and strategies to improve the efficacy of MSC therapy is also addressed.
Stem cell therapies that work in rodent models are frequently proposed as potential treatments for human disease. Testing of such strategies in human tissue is an important interim between preclinical and clinical studies. This study demonstrated that human mesenchymal stem cells and platelet-derived growth factor provide significant protection to cells of the human retina, supporting observations seen in rodent models of optic nerve injury. This work highlights that similar, although not identical, mechanisms are responsible for retinal protection and that future stem cell-based treatments may have the potential to reduce visual deterioration.
By combining solubilized amniotic membrane into an easy to store and apply hydrogel, researchers have developed a cell-free means to accelerate wound healing