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Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity
Volume 2016, Article ID 2989076, 9 pages
Review Article

Effects of Oxidative Stress on Mesenchymal Stem Cell Biology

1Medical Scientist Training Program, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53705, USA
2Department of Medicine, Hematology/Oncology Division, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, WI 53705, USA
3University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Madison, WI 53705, USA

Received 15 March 2016; Accepted 29 May 2016

Academic Editor: Alessandra Ricelli

Copyright © 2016 Ryan A. Denu and Peiman Hematti. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stem cells present in most fetal and adult tissues. Ex vivo culture-expanded MSCs are being investigated for tissue repair and immune modulation, but their full clinical potential is far from realization. Here we review the role of oxidative stress in MSC biology, as their longevity and functions are affected by oxidative stress. In general, increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) inhibit MSC proliferation, increase senescence, enhance adipogenic but reduce osteogenic differentiation, and inhibit MSC immunomodulation. Furthermore, aging, senescence, and oxidative stress reduce their ex vivo expansion, which is critical for their clinical applications. Modulation of sirtuin expression and activity may represent a method to reduce oxidative stress in MSCs. These findings have important implications in the clinical utility of MSCs for degenerative and immunological based conditions. Further study of oxidative stress in MSCs is imperative in order to enhance MSC ex vivo expansion and in vivo engraftment, function, and longevity.