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Essay about Glycation and Mesenchymal Stem Cell Function

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New cells are often produced in the body during growth and development. In addition, new cells also develop as the body repairs and remodels its tissues after an injury. These new cells come from mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which are considered as multipotent cells. MSCs are found in various parts of the body during growth and development, but in adults, they are present in the bone marrow, where they later differentiate, mature and migrate to become more specialized cells with unique functions. These cells' potential to develop into bone cells, cartilage cells, muscle cells and fat cells makes their role in regeneration, repair and remodelling important, especially when the body undergoes the normal process of aging or recovers from disease or injury.

Research shows, however, that the potential of stem cells to proliferate and mature into specialized cells may be hindered by compounds known as advanced glycation end-products (AGEs). These compounds are formed by a chemical reaction called glycation, which involves attaching sugar molecules to proteins without the use of enzymes. This process initiates a complex series of molecular rearrangements and dehydrations that produces cross-linked proteins, resulting in the disruption of normal metabolic processes.

Glycation and AGEs

The body normally metabolizes substances such as simple sugars and proteins to produce energy, build tissues and many more functions. In the molecular level, chemical reactions such as glycosylation occur, in which a carbohydrate molecule attaches to another protein molecule to form another substance. These chemical reactions are often catalyzed by enzymes resulting in the formation of various glycans, which are involved in many structural and ...


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Kume , Kato S, Yamagishi S, Inagaki, Y, et al. Advanced Glycation End-Products Attenuate Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Prevent Cognate Differentiation Into Adipose Tissue, Cartilage, and Bone. J Bone Miner Res, 2005. 20: 1647–1658. doi: 10.1359/JBMR.050514

Yang K, Wang XQ, He YS, et al. Advanced glycation end products induce chemokine/cytokine production via activation of p38 pathway and inhibit proliferation and migration of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells. Cardiovasc Diabetol, 2010, 9:66.

Toth C, Rong L, Yang C, et al. Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products (RAGEs) and Experimental Diabetic Neuropathy
Diabetes. 2008;57(4):1002-1017.

Hu X, Cheng Y. Possible participation of receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) in the origin of cancer stem cells in diabetic patients with colon cancer. Med Hypotheses. 2013 May;80(5):620-3.


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