Mesenchymal stromal cells: properties and role in management of cutaneous diseases

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Abstract

This review describes the current understanding and the potential use of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in cell-based therapies for clinical management of difficult wounds and other dermatoses. MSCs have been shown to possess many advantageous properties that make them a promising therapeutic modality in dermatology still under investigation. In fact, MSCs' ability to promote wound healing through its paracrine function and pro-angiogenic properties have generated increasing interest for treating acute and chronic wounds. There is also great interest in utilizing MSCs' immunological characteristics for therapeutic use especially for patients with debilitating systemic autoimmune and inflammatory skin conditions who have failed other therapies. Its role in aesthetics has also been explored with clinical data showing improvement of acne scars and wrinkles from photoaging. Clinical trials are underway investigating the safety and efficacy of MSCs in the treatment of different skin conditions such as acute burns, diabetic and venous stasis ulcers, epidermolysis bullosa and systemic sclerosis, among others. We anticipate that as our understanding of the characteristics and function of MSCs grow, so will its role in cell-based treatments of dermatological conditions.

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