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Essay on Characteristics, Sources and Function of the Mesenchymal Stem Cell

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2.2 Mesenchymal Stem Cell (MSC)

MSC are initially recognized in the late 1960s by Friendenstein and colleagues, as an adherent, non-phagocytic, fibroblast-like population that could regenerate rudiments of normal bone in vitro and in vivo (Friedenstein et al. 1970; Friedenstein et al. 1974a; Friedenstein et al. 1974b). The group identified a homogenous spindle-shaped adherent cell population when they cultured whole bone marrow (BM) in vitro. Then, this assay was developed into colony forming unit-fibroblast (CFU-F) assay which is the standard method to identify MSC. Later, Pittenger et al showed that MSC differentiate into lineages of mesenchymal tissue, including bone, cartilage, fat, tendon, muscle, and marrow stromal (Pittenger et al. 1999). This multilineage differentiation ability has been further exploited in tissue engineering. MSC attract much interest of scientists when their immunomodulatory functions were described (Bartholomew et al. 2002; Di Nicola et al. 2002; Tse et al. 2003).

2.2.1 Sources of MSC

MSC can be isolated from various sources and wide range of species. Among, the most extensively defined and investigated sources are human (Pittenger et al. 1999) and murine MSC (Nadri and Soleimani 2007; Anjos-Afonso and Bonnet 2008). In addition, MSC also have been derived from various animal including non-human primates (Ke et al. 2009), dogs (Neupane et al. 2008), pigs (Bosch et al. 2006), cows (Bosnakovski et al. 2005), chicken (Khatri et al. 2009) and horses (Arnhold et al. 2007). This provides a large animal model to test MSC therapeutic potential in both human and veterinary medicine. In humans, MSC have been identified and described in variety of tissues. Among, adult bone marrow (BM) is th...


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... of differentiation (D'Ippolito et al. 1999). Telomere shortening in human cells can induce replicative senescence which blocks the cell division. The mechanism is controlled by activity of telomerase which is highly expressed in tumour cells and embryonic stem cells. Telomerase enables indefinite proliferation of these cells. However, most somatic cells lack of telomerase activity or have a low level of this enzyme. Several studies showed there is no or low telomerase activity in MSC using highly sensitive assay (Banfi et al. 2002; Yanada et al. 2006). This denoted that MSC senescence is associated with shortening of telomere length. In addition, the origin of MSC also play role in determining their senescence rate. MSC from old donor may encounter difficulties in initial cultivation and accelerated senescence in vitro (Stenderup et al. 2003; Shamsul et al. 2004).


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