Umbilical Cord as Prospective Source for Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Based Therapy

The paper presents current evidence on the properties of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells, including origin, proliferative potential, plasticity, stability of karyotype and phenotype, transcriptome, secretome, and immunomodulatory activity. A review of preclinical studies and clinical trials using this cell type is performed. Prospects for the use of mesenchymal stem cells, derived from the umbilical cord, in cell transplantation are associated with the need for specialized biobanking and transplant standardization criteria.

Introduction: Many researchers consider the transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to be the most effective tool for cell therapy, due to the simultaneous activation ofmultiple mechanisms (paracrine, trophic, immunomodulatory, and differentiation), affecting all stages of the regeneration of damaged tissues. Bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) are the most extensively characterized as they are the historically accepted “gold standard” of MSCs. Nevertheless, currently there is active research work regarding MSCs from other sources—adipose tissue, peripheral and umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, skin, dental pulp, synovium, umbilical cord tissue, placental complex, endometrium, and others. In fact, evidence has suggested that MSCs may be present virtually in any vascularized tissue throughout the whole body [1]. All these cell types meet the minimum criteria for MSCs but have significant differences in their features. Our review focuses on umbilical cord-derived MSCs (UC-MSCs), cells that have a unique combination of prenatal and postnatal stem cell properties.