Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cell Therapy

Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cell Therapy

A mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) is a type of adult stem cell (ASC). The main source of MSCs is the adult bone marrow. The cells are immersed in the stroma, and there is one MSC per 34,000 nucleated cells in the bone marrow. MSCs are located in other body tissues, such as the fat, peripheral blood, muscle, lung, and liver. Stem cell therapy was first discussed in 1976 by Dr. Fridenstein. The researchers described MSCs as plastic-adherent, clonal cells, and after this, MSCs were used in many animal studies.

MSCs were later used in many clinical case reports, which found them successful for treating cartilage and bone defects, coronary artery disease, chronic skin wounds, and vascular ischemia. The injected cells were found to be well-tolerated with spectacular healing results in these first studies. There are also many studies that show MSCs can differentiate (transform and discern) into other cell types.


All About MSCs


Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells can make several types of cells, such as fat, bone, and cartilage. MSC research is exploring the use of these therapies for many diseases. The mesenchymal stem cells are multipotent stem cells found in the bone marrow, which is important for making and repairing skeletal tissues. These cells make up a tiny fraction of the cells in the bone marrow. Many MSC studies involve the formation of new blood vessels in damaged tissues, which occur from heart attacks and ischemic diseases. Researchers also have found that bone marrow stem cells reduce inflammation, prevent organ/tissue transplant rejection, and slow the progression of autoimmune diseases.

Stem cell research is detailed, complex, difficult, and slow. Conflicting results at present are a reminder that this research takes time and effort. There is much uncertainty regarding stem cell therapy at present. Transplanted MSCs are rapidly removed by the body, which will limit their ability to work during treatment. At present, researchers are working to develop ways of keeping MSCs in place so they can develop new bone, cartilage, or tissue.


The Bone Marrow Stem Cell Procedure


Bone marrow stem cells contain a greater number of adult stem cells than the peripheral blood. These cells are harvested from the bone marrow procedure, which has been proven to result in a high patient success rate. Stem cell therapy also has a significant improvement on overall patient quality of life. Before the treatment, the patient has a complete physical examination and fills out paperwork. The prerequisite testing involves blood work, electrocardiogram (ECG), and other diagnostic tests.

The first day in the clinic involves taking a small amount of bone marrow from the iliac crest. The patient is positioned on the exam table, and the hip is cleaned using an antiseptic solution. Using x-ray guidance, the aspiration needle is inserted into the bone, and marrow is removed. After this, the clinicians harvest, process, and separate the stem cells from the other bone marrow components. Afterwards, the stem cells are injected into the body region being treated.

Surface Markers and Immunosuppressive Effect


There are many surface markers on bone marrow-derived stem cells. Cultured MSCs have been extensively analyzed by both immunologic and morphologic characterization. Surface markers have been identified in studies, which include CD29, CD34, CD44, CD90, and CD271. In the studies, none of the characteristics of MSC were specific enough to define this cell type. Research efforts have often focused on phenotypic and biological characteristics.

MSCs are used in clinical studies by two mechanisms. First, the stem cells contribute physically to damaged or injured body structures and sites when administered systemically or locally. Second, the cells have a supportive role by several factors. MSC-mediated immunosuppression mechanisms are now being investigated. Several clinical studies show the immunosuppressive effect of the cells in mitogenic and allogeneic interactions. The results of the study confirm a low immunogenicity of MSCs, which must be considered following stem cell transplantation.


A Recent Bone Marrow MSC Study


In a recent clinical study, researchers isolated, cultured, and characterized human marrow-derived stem cells based on immunophenotypic markers and their differentiation potential. In the research study, MSCs were counted and analyzed for viability by trypan blue staining. The cultured stem cells were analyzed morphologically, as well as for specific surface markers. Functional ability of differentiation into adipocyte (fat cell) and osteocyte (bone cell) was achieved in the study in response to specific culture conditions.

In this study, adherent cells were observed in all samples obtained after three days of laboratory culture. The expansion of MSCs depended on the presence of single cell-derived colonies which included fibroblast-like cells. The cells increased in size and shape, according to the researchers. The MSCs were CD11b, CD45, CD31, CD34, CD40, CD80, and HLA-class II negative, with antigen expression less than 5%. Study results showed that the cells could be taken from healthy donors and used successfully in cell-based therapies.


Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Neurodegenerative Diseases


Stem cell therapy is now being used to treat many neurodegenerative diseases. In a study recently conducted, researchers evaluated the mechanisms by which transplanted MSCs influenced certain neurodegenerative diseases. They found this to involve cellular replacement or paracrine secretion, which was subdivided by trophic factor secretion and immunomodulation by cytokines. The researchers also found the cells deliver specific proteins and promote reprogramming of cells in the neural lineage.

The chronic spinal injury is a severe untreatable condition. Many studies have been conducted involving stem cell therapy. Functional outcomes have been shown to improve with stem cell therapy. In a study involving dogs who received stem cells, researchers found improved sensory and locomotor function when examined 3 months after surgery. In addition, the dogs had increased movement of the hind limbs, could stand upright and be able to take some small steps.

Ayatollahi M, Geramizadeh B, Zakerinia M, et al. (2012). Human Bone Marrow-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell: A Source for Cell-Based Therapy. Int J Organ Transplant Med, 3(1), 32-41.

Sada O, Meamed E, & Offen D (2009). Bone-marrow-derived mesenchymal stem-cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases. Retrieved from:

Sarmento CAP, Rodriques MN, Bocabello RZ, et al. (2014). Pilot study: bone marrow stem cells as a treatment for dogs with chronic spinal cord injury. Regenerative Medicine Research, 2(9).





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