Adult Stem cells research over the decade have increased with significant research teams and labs being established across India emphasizing on the adult stem cells in the development of novel cellular therapies. Adult stem cell’s ability to differentiate into cell lineages and interests by the researchers has undoubtedly accelerated the scientific research in defining the principles of these stem cells in tissue regeneration, repair and changing the life style of patients with various clinical conditions. This Article focuses on Mesenchymal stem cells or multipotent stromal cells role, current advancement in MSc’s research and Stem cell labs across India.
Mesenchymal stromal cells are currently considered having a huge potential in tissue regeneration, repair and their role in Spinal Cord Injuries, Motor Neuron Disorders and many other clinical condition. With its origin from many places in the body including Bone Marrow, Umbilical cord tissue, Adipose tissue, there is a marked difference in the biology of the Mesenchymal stem cells based on the tissue of origin. The Home environment of the Mesenchymal stem cells and tissue of origin are the main source of variation in the biological properties of Mesenchymal stem cells in tissue regeneration and repair. With significant research been done on studying the Immuno modulatory effects of the Mesenchymal stem cells and tissue repair, It is still unclear that how the homing mechanisms of Mesenchymal stem cells happen from the site of injection to site of Injury considering the short shelf lifeof these cells inside the body and critical signaling pathways involved in the tissue repair and tissue regeneration.
Mesenchymal stromal cells have the unique property among the adult stem cells to differentiate into Adipocytes, chondrocytes, Oestocytes. The Tri lineage differentiation of the Mesenchymal stem cells have significantly encouraged scientists and clinicians to apply these specifically differentiated stem cells for the treatment of bone and cartilage damage, cardiovascular , gastrointestinal , autoimmune , neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Mesenchymal stem cells because of their potent self –renewal capacity, can be passaged many times without significant alterations of their major properties. According to International Society for Cellular Therapy guidelines for minimal criteria to define Mesenchymal stromal cells, There are three major criteria to define Human MSc’s 1) Mesenchymal stromal cells should be Plastic- adherent in the standard cultured conditions, 2) Mesenchymal stromal cells must express CD 105, CD73 and CD 90 and lack expression of CD 45, CD 34, CD79a, HLA-DR and 3) Must differentiate into Three lineages.
Mesenchymal stem cell’s Microenvironment in Immune suppression is one of the major interests among the immunologists, stem cell biologists and clinicians. However the detailed studies and signaling pathways of how the microenvironment affects immunosuppression of MSc’s are yet to be elucidated. Scientists across the globe are in the process of resolving these questions and will require comprehensive experimental approaches including the use of in vivo assays to define the tissue regenerative properties, repair, tracking their distributions and dynamics in diverse tissues and use of MSc’s specific animal models.
India has always been the major Stem cell research contributor in the recent past with many of the research papers, review articles being published frequently and with stem cell companies already into clinical trials trying to market the stem cells as a drug for a common public to afford. Indian Government along with ICMR and CSIR has established various stem cell research labs and institutions across India to meet the industry needs and to benefit students and research scholars. Institutes like Institute for Stem cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Bangalore, Centre for Stem cell Research, Vellore, and Companies like Unistem Biosciences, Stempeutics focusing on Adult Stem cells and Hematopoietic stem cells. However scientists, Stem cell companies and Laboratories across India need a more refined insight into the biological attributes of MSc’s in order for a more rational exploitation of their therapeutic use.