Mammalian MSC from selected species: Features and applications

Cytometry A. 2018 Jan;93(1):32-49. doi: 10.1002/cyto.a.23239. Epub 2017 Sep 14.


Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC) are promising candidates for cellular therapy of different diseases in humans and in animals. Following the guidelines of the International Society for Cell Therapy, human MSC may be identified by expression of a specific panel of cell surface markers (CD105+, CD73+, CD90+, CD34-, CD14-, or CD11b-, CD79- or CD19-, HLA-DR-). In addition, multiple differentiation potential into at least the osteogenic, adipogenic, and chondrogenic lineage is a main criterion for MSC definition. Human MSC and MSC of a variety of mammals isolated from different tissues meet these criteria. In addition to the abovementioned, they express many more cell surface markers. Yet, these are not uniquely expressed by MSC. The gross phenotypic appearance like marker expression and differentiation potential is similar albeit not identical for MSC from different tissues and species. Similarly, MSC may feature different biological characteristics depending on the tissue source and the isolation and culture procedures. Their versatile biological qualities comprising immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, and proregenerative capacities rely largely on the migratory and secretory capabilities of MSC. They are attracted to sites of tissue lesion and secrete factors to promote self-repair of the injured tissue. This is a big perspective for clinical MSC applications in both veterinary and human medicine. Phase I/II clinical trials have been initiated to assess safety and feasibility of MSC therapies in acute and chronic disease settings. Yet, since the mode of MSC action in a specific disease environment is still unknown at large, it is mandatory to unravel the response of MSC from a given source onto a specific disease environment in suitable animal models prior to clinical applications. © 2017 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry.

Keywords: cell therapy; clinical trials; differentiation; mammals; mesenchymal stem cells; surface marker.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / methods
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation
  • Mammals
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / immunology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Regeneration
  • Safety
  • Species Specificity


  • Antigens, CD