Stem cell paracrine actions and tissue regeneration

Regen Med. 2010 Jan;5(1):121-43. doi: 10.2217/rme.09.74.


Stem cells have emerged as a key element of regenerative medicine therapies due to their inherent ability to differentiate into a variety of cell phenotypes, thereby providing numerous potential cell therapies to treat an array of degenerative diseases and traumatic injuries. A recent paradigm shift has emerged suggesting that the beneficial effects of stem cells may not be restricted to cell restoration alone, but also due to their transient paracrine actions. Stem cells can secrete potent combinations of trophic factors that modulate the molecular composition of the environment to evoke responses from resident cells. Based on this new insight, current research directions include efforts to elucidate, augment and harness stem cell paracrine mechanisms for tissue regeneration. This article discusses the existing studies on stem/progenitor cell trophic factor production, implications for tissue regeneration and cancer therapies, and development of novel strategies to use stem cell paracrine delivery for regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Paracrine Communication*
  • Regeneration
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Wound Healing*