Mesenchymal stem cell-derived microparticles: a promising therapeutic strategy

Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Aug 18;15(8):14348-63. doi: 10.3390/ijms150814348.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells that give rise to various cell types of the mesodermal germ layer. Because of their unique ability to home in on injured and cancerous tissues, MSCs are of great potential in regenerative medicine. MSCs also contribute to reparative processes in different pathological conditions, including cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, many studies have shown that only a small proportion of transplanted MSCs can actually survive and be incorporated into host tissues. The effects of MSCs cannot be fully explained by their number. Recent discoveries suggest that microparticles (MPs) derived from MSCs may be important for the physiological functions of their parent. Though the physiological role of MSC-MPs is currently not well understood, inspiring results indicate that, in tissue repair and anti-cancer therapy, MSC-MPs have similar pro-regenerative and protective properties as their cellular counterparts. Thus, MSC-MPs represent a promising approach that may overcome the obstacles and risks associated with the use of native or engineered MSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cell-Derived Microparticles / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology