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Stem Cells International
Volume 2015, Article ID 734731, 19 pages
Review Article

Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine: Myth or Reality of the 21th Century

1CNRS, UMR 7365, Lorraine University, 54500 Vandoeuvre, France
2Nancy Hospital (CHU), Cell and Tissue Therapy Unit (UTCT), 54500 Vandoeuvre, France
3Lorraine University, 54000 Nancy, France
4Medical College and Zhongnan Hospital, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
5Service de Thérapie Cellulaire, Calmette Hospital, Kunming, China
6Medical School, Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei, China
7Anzhen Hospital, Cardiovascular and Lung Research Center, Beijing, China

Received 26 December 2014; Revised 22 April 2015; Accepted 24 May 2015

Academic Editor: Juan Carlos Casar

Copyright © 2015 J.-F. Stoltz et al. 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.


Since the 1960s and the therapeutic use of hematopoietic stem cells of bone marrow origin, there has been an increasing interest in the study of undifferentiated progenitors that have the ability to proliferate and differentiate into various tissues. Stem cells (SC) with different potency can be isolated and characterised. Despite the promise of embryonic stem cells, in many cases, adult or even fetal stem cells provide a more interesting approach for clinical applications. It is undeniable that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) from bone marrow, adipose tissue, or Wharton’s Jelly are of potential interest for clinical applications in regenerative medicine because they are easily available without ethical problems for their uses. During the last 10 years, these multipotent cells have generated considerable interest and have particularly been shown to escape to allogeneic immune response and be capable of immunomodulatory activity. These properties may be of a great interest for regenerative medicine. Different clinical applications are under study (cardiac insufficiency, atherosclerosis, stroke, bone and cartilage deterioration, diabetes, urology, liver, ophthalmology, and organ’s reconstruction). This review focuses mainly on tissue and organ regeneration using SC and in particular MSC.