Brain mesenchymal stem cells: physiology and pathological implications

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Abstract

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are defined as progenitor cells that give rise to a number of unique, differentiated mesenchymal cell types. This concept has progressively evolved towards an all-encompassing concept including multipotent perivascular cells of almost any tissue. In central nervous system, pericytes are involved in blood–brain barrier, and angiogenesis and vascular tone regulation. They form the neurovascular unit (NVU) together with endothelial cells, astrocytes and neurons. This functional structure provides an optimal microenvironment for neural proliferation in the adult brain. Neurovascular niche include both diffusible signals and direct contact with endothelial and pericytes, which are a source of diffusible neurotrophic signals that affect neural precursors. Therefore, MSCs/pericyte properties such as differentiation capability, as well as immunoregulatory and paracrine effects make them a potential resource in regenerative medicine.

In central nervous system, pericytes are involved in blood brain barrier, and angiogenesis and vascular tone regulation. MSCs/pericyte properties such as differentiation capability, as well as immunoregulatory and paracrine effects make them a potential resource in regenerative medicine.

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