Blood vessel formation is fundamental to development, while its dysregulation can contribute to serious disease. Expectations are that hundreds of millions of individuals will benefit from therapeutic developments in vascular biology. MSCs are central to the three main vascular repair mechanisms.
Key recent published literature and ClinicalTrials.gov.
MSCs are heterogeneous, containing multi-lineage stem and partly differentiated progenitor cells, and are easily expandable ex vivo. There is no single marker defining native MSCs in vivo. Their phenotype is strongly determined by their specific microenvironment. Bone marrow MSCs have skeletal stem cell properties. Having a perivascular/vascular location, they contribute to vascular formation and function and might be harnessed to regenerate a blood supply to injured tissues.
These include MSC origin, phenotype and location in vivo and their ability to differentiate into functional cardiomyocytes and endothelial cells or act as vascular stem cells. In addition their efficacy, safety and potency in clinical trials in relation to cell source, dose, delivery route, passage and timing of administration, but probably even more on the local preconditioning and the mechanisms by which they exert their effects.
Understanding the origin and the regenerative environment of MSCs, and manipulating their homing properties, proliferative ability and functionality through drug discovery and reprogramming strategies are important for their efficacy in vascular repair for regenerative medicine therapies and tissue engineering approaches.
Characterization of MSCs' in vivo origins and biological properties in relation to their localization within tissue niches, reprogramming strategies and newer imaging/bioengineering approaches.