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Front. Immunol., 10 July 2012 |

Therapeutic potential of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells for cutaneous wound healing

Jerry S. Chen, Victor W. Wong and Geoffrey C. Gurtner*
  • Department of Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Despite advances in wound care, many wounds never heal and become chronic problems that result in significant morbidity and mortality to the patient. Cellular therapy for cutaneous wounds has recently come under investigation as a potential treatment modality for impaired wound healing. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a promising source of adult progenitor cells for cytotherapy as they are easy to isolate and expand and have been shown to differentiate into various cell lineages. Early studies have demonstrated that MSCs may enhance epithelialization, granulation tissue formation, and neovascularization resulting in accelerated wound closure. It is currently unclear if these effects are mediated through cellular differentiation or by secretion of cytokines and growth factors. This review discusses the proposed biological contributions of MSCs to cutaneous repair and their clinical potential in cell-based therapies.

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells, wound healing, differentiation, paracrine signaling, tissue engineering

Citation: Chen JS, Wong VW and Gurtner GC (2012) Therapeutic potential of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells for cutaneous wound healing. Front. Immun. 3:192. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2012.00192

Received: 31 March 2012; Paper pending published: 20 April 2012;
Accepted: 18 June 2012; Published online: 10 July 2012.

Edited by:

Frank J. M. F. Dor, Erasmus MC University Medical Center Rotterdam, Netherlands

Reviewed by:

Joerg Halter, University Hospital Basel, Switzerland
Martin J. Hoogduijn, Erasmus Medical Center, Netherlands
William R. Otto, Queen Mary, University of London, UK

Copyright © 2012 Chen, Wong and Gurtner. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited and subject to any copyright notices concerning any third-party graphics etc.

*Correspondence: Geoffrey C. Gurtner, Hagey Laboratory for Pediatric Regenerative Medicine, 257 Campus Drive, GK 201, Stanford, CA 94305, USA. e-mail: