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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14(6), 11692-11712; doi:10.3390/ijms140611692

Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Phenotypic Characterization and Optimizing Their Therapeutic Potential for Clinical Applications

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Institute of Wonkwang Medical Science, School of Medicine, Wonkwang University, 344-2 Shinyong-dong, Iksan 570-749, Korea
2
Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 April 2013 / Revised: 22 May 2013 / Accepted: 27 May 2013 / Published: 31 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathology and Treatment of Central Nervous System Diseases)
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Abstract

Wharton’s jelly (WJ) is a gelatinous tissue within the umbilical cord that contains myofibroblast-like stromal cells. A unique cell population of WJ that has been suggested as displaying the stemness phenotype is the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Because MSCs’ stemness and immune properties appear to be more robustly expressed and functional which are more comparable with fetal than adult-derived MSCs, MSCs harvested from the “young” WJ are considered much more proliferative, immunosuppressive, and even therapeutically active stem cells than those isolated from older, adult tissue sources such as the bone marrow or adipose. The present review discusses the phenotypic characteristics, therapeutic applications, and optimization of experimental protocols for WJ-derived stem cells. MSCs derived from WJ display promising transplantable features, including ease of sourcing, in vitro expandability, differentiation abilities, immune-evasion and immune-regulation capacities. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that WJ-derived stem cells possess many potential advantages as transplantable cells for treatment of various diseases (e.g., cancer, chronic liver disease, cardiovascular diseases, nerve, cartilage and tendon injury). Additional studies are warranted to translate the use of WJ-derived stem cells for clinical applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: umbilical cord; wharton’s jelly; mesenchymal stem cells; phenotypic characteristics; therapeutic applications; experimental protocol umbilical cord; wharton’s jelly; mesenchymal stem cells; phenotypic characteristics; therapeutic applications; experimental protocol
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Kim, D.-W.; Staples, M.; Shinozuka, K.; Pantcheva, P.; Kang, S.-D.; Borlongan, C.V. Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Phenotypic Characterization and Optimizing Their Therapeutic Potential for Clinical Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 11692-11712.

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