Dissecting the Pharmacodynamics and Pharmacokinetics of MSCs to Overcome Limitations in Their Clinical Translation

Mol Ther Methods Clin Dev. 2019 May 17:14:1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.omtm.2019.05.004. eCollection 2019 Sep 13.


Recently, mesenchymal stromal stem cells (MSCs) have been proposed as therapeutic agents because of their promising preclinical features and good safety profile. However, their introduction into clinical practice has been associated with a suboptimal therapeutic profile. In this review, we address the biodistribution of MSCs in preclinical studies with a focus on the current understanding of the pharmacodynamics (PD) and pharmacokinetics (PK) of MSCs as key aspects to overcome unsatisfactory clinical benefits of MSC application. Beginning with evidence of MSC biodistribution and highlighting PK and PD factors, a new PK-PD model is also proposed. According to this theory, MSCs and their released factors are key players in PK, and the efficacy biomarkers are considered relevant for PD in more predictive preclinical investigations. Accounting for the PK-PD relationship in MSC translational research and proposing new models combined with better biodistribution studies could allow realization of the promise of more robust MSC clinical translation.

Keywords: MSCs; PK-PD model; biodistribution; clinical translation; lung regeneration; mesenchymal cells; mesenchymal stromal cells; pharmacodynamics; pharmacokinetics; stem cell therapy.

Publication types

  • Review