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Stem Cells International
Volume 2018, Article ID 6726185, 10 pages
Review Article

Current Strategies to Generate Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells In Vitro

Institute for Cell Biology (Cancer Research), University Hospital Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Diana Klein; ed.nesse-ku@nielk.anaid

Received 26 April 2018; Revised 31 July 2018; Accepted 9 August 2018; Published 26 August 2018

Academic Editor: Stan Gronthos

Copyright © 2018 Jennifer Steens and Diana Klein. 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 stem cells (MSCs) are heterogeneous multipotent stem cells that are involved in the development of mesenchyme-derived evolving structures and organs during ontogeny. In the adult organism, reservoirs of MSCs can be found in almost all tissues where MSCs contribute to the maintenance of organ integrity. The use of these different MSCs for cell-based therapies has been extensively studied over the past years, which highlights the use of MSCs as a promising option for the treatment of various diseases including autoimmune and cardiovascular disorders. However, the proportion of MSCs contained in primary isolates of adult tissue biopsies is rather low and, thus, vigorous ex vivo expansion is needed especially for therapies that may require extensive and repetitive cell substitution. Therefore, more easily and accessible sources of MSCs are needed. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the different strategies to generate human MSCs in vitro as an alternative method for their applications in regenerative therapy.