Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) are non-hematopoietic multi-potent stem-like cells that are capable of differentiating into both mesenchymal and non-mesenchymal lineages. In fact, in addition to bone, cartilage, fat, and myoblasts, it has been demonstrated that MSCs are capable of differentiating into neurons and astrocytes in vitro and in vivo. MSCs are of interest because they are isolated from a small aspirate of bone marrow and can be easily expanded in vitro. As such, these cells are currently being tested for their potential use in cell and gene therapy for a number of human diseases. Nevertheless, there are still some open questions about origin, multipotentiality, and anatomical localization of MSCs. In this review, we discuss clinical trials based on the use of MSCs in cardiovascular diseases, such as treatment of acute myocardial infarction, endstage ischemic heart disease, or prevention of vascular restenosis through stem cell-mediated injury repair. We analyze data from clinical trials for treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), which is a genetic disease characterized by production of defective type I collagen. We describe progress for neurological disease treatment with MSC transplants. We discuss data on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and on lysosomal storage diseases (Hurler syndrome and metachromatic leukodystrophy). A section of review is dedicated to ongoing clinical trials, involving MSCs in treatment of steroid refractory Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD); periodontitis, which is a chronic disease affecting periodontium and causing destruction of attachment apparatus, heart failure, and bone fractures. Finally, we will provide information about biotech companies developing MSC therapy.
(c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.