Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Diabetes
- Cell Transplant Center, Diabetes Research Institute, DeWitt Daughtry Family Department of Surgery, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, and Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Miami, Miami, Florida
- Corresponding author: Antonello Pileggi, .
The field of regenerative medicine is rapidly evolving, paving the way for novel therapeutic interventions through cellular therapies and tissue engineering approaches that are reshaping the biomedical field. The remarkable plasticity of different cell subsets obtained from human embryonic and adult tissues from disparate sources (including bone marrow, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, placenta, and adipose tissue) has sparked research endeavors evaluating use of these cells for numerous conditions, including diabetes and its complications (1).
A readily accessible source for multipotent stem cells is the bone marrow, which comprises progenitors of hematopoietic, endothelial, and mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Unfractioned and fractioned bone marrow–derived stem cells have been used in experimental and clinical settings to improve diabetes and diabetes complications. Bone marrow–derived MSCs are stromal, nonhematopoietic cells generally obtained from iliac crest aspirates following enrichment based on their preferential adhesion on culture vessels in defined media. MSC characterization relies on expression of specific surface markers and on their ability to differentiate into fat, bone, and cartilage when exposed to appropriate culture conditions (2).
Recent clinical trials have demonstrated powerful immunomodulatory effects of the inoculum of MSCs to treat graft-versus-host disease (3,4), to improve allogeneic renal transplant outcomes using lower immunosuppressive regimens (5), and to reduce immune cell activation in patients with multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (6). Autologous MSCs were shown to improve Crohn disease lesions refractory to …