Affiliations: Institute of Bioengineering, University Miguel Hernandez, Elche (Alicante), Spain | Neuroscience Institute, University Miguel Hernandez, San Juan (Alicante), Spain
Note:  Correspondence to: Enrique Roche, Instituto de Bioingenieria, Universidad Miguel Hernandez, Avda de la Universidad sn, 03202-Elche (Alicante), Spain. Tel.: +34 965222029; Fax: +34 965222033; E-mail: email@example.com
Abstract: Mesenchymal stem cells can be isolated from numerous adult and fetal tissues, such as the bone marrow and fat. In vitro, these cells can be induced to differentiate into various mesodermal cell types, such as osteocytes, adipocytes, chondrocytes and myoblasts. Also, they can be transdifferentiated into other non-mesodermal cell types, including the neuroectoderm. However, numerous articles question the validity of these cell products as actual neurons. On the other hand, there is increasing evidence that these stem cells, rather than transdifferentiate, activate regeneration processes by releasing certain neurotrophic factors, which activate host progenitors. Also, in this work we will discuss how stem cells regulate immune response and alloantigen recognition. This property could have important implications in autoimmune neurodegenerative disorders as well as other pathologies. Altogether, mesenchymal stem cells are interesting candidates for cell therapy by promoting trophic effects or by modulating the immune system function. Nevertheless, the transdifferentiation/transdetermination of mesenchymal stem cells into non-mesodermic cell types remains an open question.
Keywords: Adipose tissue, bone marrow, cell therapy, immune system, neuron