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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 2892840, 10 pages
Review Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Metabolic Syndrome: Current Understanding and Potential Clinical Implications

Division of Cardiology, Second Department of Internal Medicine, Kyorin University School of Medicine, Tokyo 181-8611, Japan

Received 6 February 2016; Revised 6 April 2016; Accepted 4 May 2016

Academic Editor: Paulo J. Oliveira

Copyright © 2016 Kenichi Matsushita. 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.


Metabolic syndrome is an obesity-based, complicated clinical condition that has become a global epidemic problem with a high associated risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality. Dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes or glucose dysmetabolism are the major factors constituting metabolic syndrome, and these factors are interrelated and share underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Severe obesity predisposes individuals to metabolic syndrome, and recent data suggest that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) contribute significantly to adipocyte generation by increasing the number of adipocytes. Accordingly, an increasing number of studies have examined the potential roles of MSCs in managing obesity and metabolic syndrome. However, despite the growing bank of experimental and clinical data, the efficacy and the safety of MSCs in the clinical setting are still to be optimized. It is thus hoped that ongoing and future studies can elucidate the roles of MSCs in metabolic syndrome and lead to MSC-based therapeutic options for affected patients. This review discusses current understanding of the relationship between MSCs and metabolic syndrome and its potential implications for patient management.