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A mesenchymal stem cell is a multipotent progenitor cell that can be isolated and expanded from various sources and which can help to repair and rebuild tissues.

mesenchymal stem cell
Here, progenitor cells called pericytes which hug the tiny blood vessels transform into mesenchymal stem cells, which themselves can then transform into various more differentiated cells, such as myocytes (to make muscle) or chondrocytes (to make cartilage).

 

The value of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)

Isolated from various adult tissues, mesenchymal stem cells cannot differentiate into all types of cells, but can differentiate into several types of cells belonging to our skeletal tissues, such as cartilage, bone and fat. Besides this multilineage potential, MSCs secrete chemicals that regulate the microenvironment of tissues - this is called immunomodulation - and they can secrete anti-inflammatory substances as well.

Synonyms: 
MSC
Medicinal signalling cell
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Dr Sheila Strover (Editor)
BSc (Hons), MB BCh, MBA

See biography...

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