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. 2017 Jun;35(6):1151-1159.
doi: 10.1002/jor.23560. Epub 2017 Apr 11.

New MSC: MSCs as Pericytes Are Sentinels and Gatekeepers

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New MSC: MSCs as Pericytes Are Sentinels and Gatekeepers

Arnold I Caplan. J Orthop Res. .
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Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells, hMSCs, were first named over 25 years ago with the "stem cell" nomenclature derived from the fact that we and others could cause these cells to differentiate into a number of different mesodermal phenotypes in cell culture. The capacity to form skeletal tissue in vitro encouraged the use of hMSCs for the fabrication of tissue engineered skeletal repair tissue with subsequent transplantation to in vivo sites. With the current realization that MSCs are derived from perivascular cells, pericytes, and the immunomodulatory and trophic capabilities of MSCs in both in vitro and in vivo test systems, a complete re-evaluation of the role and functions of MSCs in the body was required. Additionally, the skeleton is a preferred organ for cancer dissemination from various tumor malignancies. To date, most efforts to understand skeletal metastasis have focused on the invasive and digestive capability of disseminated tumor cells (DTCs). The contribution of the target organ-specific microvascular structure influencing extravasation is less well understood. Current targeted cancer therapies are designed to alter not only biological functions in DTCs, but also components of the tumor stroma/microenvironment such as blood vessels. We now have a comprehensive image of the critical role of the host vasculature as an instructive niche for DTCs. The focus of this manuscript is to present the current information about MSC function in situ and to emphasize how these new observations provide insight into understanding the role of the pericyte/MSC in skeletal activities including our new hypothesis for how these cells act as a gatekeeper for metastasis of melanoma into bone. © 2017 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:1151-1159, 2017.

Keywords: microvasculature; pericytes; perivascular MSCs; skeletal metastasis.

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