Mesenchymal stem versus stromal cells: International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT®) Mesenchymal Stromal Cell committee position statement on nomenclature

Cytotherapy. 2019 Oct;21(10):1019-1024. doi: 10.1016/j.jcyt.2019.08.002. Epub 2019 Sep 13.


The International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT®) Mesenchymal Stromal Cell (ISCT MSC) committee offers a position statement to clarify the nomenclature of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). The ISCT MSC committee continues to support the use of the acronym "MSCs" but recommends this be (i) supplemented by tissue-source origin of the cells, which would highlight tissue-specific properties; (ii) intended as MSCs unless rigorous evidence for stemness exists that can be supported by both in vitro and in vivo data; and (iii) associated with robust matrix of functional assays to demonstrate MSC properties, which are not generically defined but informed by the intended therapeutic mode of actions.

Keywords: differentiation; immunomodulation; mesenchymal stromal cells; nomenclature; paracrine secretion; self-renewal; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques / classification
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Culture Techniques / standards
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy / classification*
  • Genetic Therapy / classification*
  • Genetic Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / classification*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Societies, Medical / standards
  • Stromal Cells / classification*
  • Stromal Cells / cytology
  • Terminology as Topic*