Mesenchymal stem cells and cutaneous wound healing: novel methods to increase cell delivery and therapeutic efficacy.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) (also known as multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells) possess the capacity for self-renewal and multi-lineage differentiation, and their ability to enhance cutaneous wound healing has been well characterized. Acting via paracrine interactions, MSCs accelerate wound closure, increase angiogenesis, promote resolution of wound inflammation, favorably regulate extracellular matrix remodeling, and encourage regeneration of skin with normal architecture and function. A number of studies have employed novel methods to amplify the delivery and efficacy of MSCs. Non-traditional sources of MSCs, including Wharton's jelly and medical waste material, have shown efficacy comparable to that of traditional sources, such as bone marrow and adipose tissue. The potential of alternative methods to both introduce MSCs into wounds and increase migration of MSCs into wound areas has also been demonstrated. Taking advantage of the associations between MSCs with M2 macrophages and microRNA, methods to enhance the immunomodulatory capacity of MSCs have shown success. New measures to enhance angiogenic capabilities have also exhibited effectiveness, often demonstrated by increased levels of proangiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor. Finally, hypoxia has been shown to have strong wound-healing potential in terms of increasing MSC efficacy. We have critically reviewed the results of the novel studies that show promise for the continued development of MSC-based wound-healing therapies and provide direction for continued research in this field.