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What are Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)?

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells isolated from different sources that can differentiate into other types of cells. In humans, these sources include; bone marrow, fat (adipose tissue), umbilical cord tissue (Wharton’s Jelly) or amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding a fetus). Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), or stromal stem cells, can differentiate into many different types of cells within the body, including: Bone cells, Cartilage, Muscle cells, Neural cells, Skin cells, and Corneal cells.

Reading time: 2 minutes 49 seconds

David Lyons

Guest contributor

May 28, 2020

Louis A. Cona, MD

Medical Director of DVC Stem

Stem cell therapy clinic in Grand Cayman

May 28, 2020

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells isolated from different sources that can differentiate into other types of cells. In humans, these sources include; bone marrow, fat (adipose tissue), umbilical cord tissue (Wharton’s Jelly), or amniotic fluid.

What are Mesenchymal Stem Cells?

Mesenchymal stem cells are adult stem cells isolated from different sources that can differentiate into other types of cells. In humans, these sources include; bone marrow, fat (adipose tissue), umbilical cord tissue (Wharton’s Jelly) or amniotic fluid (the fluid surrounding a fetus).


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), or stromal stem cells, can differentiate into many different types of cells within the body, including:

  • Bone cells
  •  Cartilage
  •  Muscle cells
  •  Neural cells
  • Skin cells
  • Corneal cells

Mesenchymal stem cells differentiation
Pictured: Diagram showing the differentiation potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells


We all have Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs).  MSCs are primarily found in the bone marrow of every person and remain dormant until called upon to promote healing within the body. They age as we age, and their number and effectiveness decreases over the years. 


The medical community has known of the existence of MSCs since the late 19th century. However, it has only been with recent advancements that physicians have been able to activate and supplement these cells to treat a variety of conditions.


Where are mesenchymal stem cells sourced?

For years, researchers believed that mesenchymal stem cells only existed within bone marrow. However, research has found that there are a variety of sources for MSCs, including umbilical cord tissue, body fat, molar teeth, and amniotic fluid. 


The cells derived from cord tissue, more specifically Wharton’s Jelly, are the youngest and most primitive MSCs available. With the majority of umbilical cords simply discarded after childbirth, this source is both non-harmful and readily available.  


The young nature of these cells allows enormous potential for them to transform into whatever type of cell is necessary within the body. Youthful cells also tend to replicate at a faster rate, and MSCs have the ability not only to differentiate into other cell types but multiply to increase their healing effect on the body. 


Researchers have also found that a stem cell’s potency is tied to its age, therefore making cord tissue MSCs some of the most capable cells around.


In contrast, treatments that utilize MSCs from a patient’s fat (adipose) sample have shown weak or unreliable responses. In general, a stem cell is only as good as its source, and if the cells come from an older individual, no amount of expansion will increase their potency.


Stem cell numbers and effectiveness begin to decrease as we age exponentially. For example, stem cells from a person in their twenties are not nearly as high quality as the brand new cells sourced from cord tissue. Although treatment is available with any source for MSCs, patients risk little to no results from using lower quality stem cells.


What are mesenchymal stem cells used for?

By sourcing mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from donated cord tissue and expanding them to higher numbers, the medical community has created the ability to supplement a person’s stem cell count through transplantation with younger, highly competent cells. 


Mesenchymal stem cells are immunopriviledged


MSCs have shown the ability to avoid a negative response from a person’s immune system, allowing the cells to be transplanted in a wide range of people without fear of rejection. These transplants vastly increase the body’s natural healing abilities and have potent anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive responses. 


Mesenchymal stem cells can treat a variety of conditions


To date, MSCs have been used to treat many autoimmune diseases, with studies conducted on use for Crohn’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Lupus, COPD, Parkinson’s, and more.


While MSCs do not provide a cure for these conditions, the premise is allowing the body to heal itself well enough to mitigate the symptoms of the conditions for long periods. In many cases, this alone allows for a substantial increase in quality of life for patients.


Mesenchymal stem cells have little adverse side effects


Very few adverse effects have been found, with the main drawback being the need for repetitive treatments to maintain high stem cell numbers in the body. Without repeat treatments, the cells will eventually become used to the point that a patient’s healing ability will return to normal over a few years. However, patient reports have shown the effects of quality treatment lasting approximately 5-10 years.


References:


(1) Ullah, I., Subbarao, R. B., & Rho, G. J. (2015, April 28). Human mesenchymal stem cells - current trends and future prospective. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4413017/.

"Dr. Cona is a leading edge stem cell treatment physician"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 DAYS POST TREATMENT

"Is the video I posted from this morning! My speech is so easy for me now, got easier throughout the day! I can talk like a NYer (fast) for the first time in years! Praise God!"

- Matthew Murry

EXCITING IMPROVEMENTS

Only 3 days after treatment, Matthew is now able to touch his nose with his eyes closed as well as touch his thumb and pinky together. Both of which he was previously unable to do before treatment.

We are excited to see his continued progress. His story will be updated here so keep an eye out!

Matthew showing his progress with mobility

Matthew Murry - 3 days post treatment

"This is exciting stuff, god bless"

Matthew Murry - MS Patient

2 WEEKS POST TREATMENT

Matthew experiences sensation in the bottom of his feet after receiving a simple nerve test.

His left foot did not experience any sensation or move at all, but what happened to his right foot is extremely exciting!

50 DAYS POST TREATMENT

Matthew is now able to lift his leg unassisted. He was previously unable to do so.

Matthew is experiencing the benefits of stem cell therapy first hand. You can view his progress video here.


Matthew showing some amazing mobility improvements.

Matthew Murry - 50 days post treatment

"Amazing progress from one of our MS patients Matthew Murray"

Louis A. Cona, MD - DVC Stem

3 MONTHS POST TREATMENT

Matthew is able to stand up with the assistance of stability bars.

David Lyons

Multiple Sclerosis

Although David Lyons was able to successfully fight Multiple Sclerosis through a strict regimen of diet and exercise, he wanted to ensure he was doing everything he could to stay fit. Multiple Sclerosis can be managed with treatment, but there is currently no cure for the disease. For that reason, David came to DVC Stem years ago to use the regenerative and anti-inflammatory attributes of stem cells to aid in his fight for fitness.

The positive results he experienced enabled David to stay strong in the gym, now into his 60s, and that is why he continues to support our clinic to this day.

Are you a candidate?

Complete our online application form to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.

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About Our Medical DIrector

LOUIS A. CONA, MD

Dr. Cona has been performing stem cell therapy for over 10 years. He is a member of the World Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (WAAAM). He is also a recognized member of the British Medical Association, the General Medical Council (UK), the Caribbean College of Family Physicians, and the American Academy of Family Physicians. He is the Medical Director for DVC Stem a world-renowned stem cell therapy clinic located in Grand Cayman.

Are you a candidate?

Complete our online application form to find out if you qualify for stem cell therapy.

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