A Novel View of Stem Cell Decline

An open access paper: "One of the most important and complex diseases of modern society is metabolic syndrome. This syndrome has not been completely understood, and therefore an effective treatment is not available yet. We propose a possible stem cell mechanism involved in the development of metabolic syndrome. This way of thinking lets us consider also other significant pathologies that could have similar [or shared biological pathways], like lipodystrophic syndromes, progeria, and aging. All these clinical situations could be the consequence of a progressive and persistent stem cell exhaustion syndrome (SCES). The main outcome of this SCES would be an irreversible loss of the effective regenerative mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) pools. In this way, the normal repairing capacities of the organism could become inefficient. ... Stem cell restoration has already demonstrated therapeutic activities in certain systems. For example, it is known that after a stroke, endogenous stem cells are mobilized from the bone marrow in an attempt to heal the damaged neural tissue. Most interestingly, a recent study demonstrated that stroke patients who exhibit a high level of stem cell mobilization have better functional outcomes as opposed to patients with a lower mobilization. ... If [MSCs exhaustion syndrome] is true, then a stem cell therapy approach could be feasible. For instance, ex vivo expansion and reinfusion of MSCs from the patient's own or from allogeneic donors, as evidence shows that MSCs are not immunogenic at all, have been already tested in many clinical trials .... In the best case scenario, MSCs therapy could retard the onset of irreversible lesions associated with metabolic syndrome or at least partially improve those already present."

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3118295/

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