It has been repeatedly demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multi-potent and have the ability to differentiate into different tissues including adipose, bone, ligament and cartilage. In addition to the capacity of MSCs for multi-potent differentiation, they also function to create a supportive microenvironment in tissues that facilitates survival and differentiation of resident stem cells. This characteristic is referred to as a stimulatory or “trophic” influence of MSCs on other cells.
Research has been done to determine the secretory molecules produced by MSCs, identifying measurable levels of TGF-β, stem cell factor (SCF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF), epidermal growth factor (EGF), and granulocyte colony stimulating factors (G-CSF). Additionally, MSCs secrete immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-10, nitric oxide and prostaglandins. Once in residence in the damage site, MSCs produce an array of bioactive factors that contribute to positive repair outcomes. Once at the site of injury, MSCs produce factors that inhibit scarring (ﬁbrosis) and apoptosis, promote angiogenesis, and stimulate host progenitor cells to divide and differentiate into functional tissue. In this light, MSCs can be thought of as therapeutic protein delivery vehicles that have extensive clinical use.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is blood plasma that has been enriched with platelets that also contains several different growth factors and other cytokines that stimulate healing of tissue. PRP can be combined with stem cell therapy to further enhance healing. The growth factors and other cytokines present in PRP include: PDGF, IGF, VEGF, TGFβ, FGF, EGF, KGF, CTGF and Interleukin 8.
Transforming Growth Factor beta
TGFβ helps control cellular differentiation and proliferation
Stem Cell Factor
SCF has been shown to increase the survival of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) and contributes to the self-renewal and maintenance of HSCs.
Epidermal Growth Factor
EGF promotes cellular proliferation, differentiation, and survival.
Granulocyte Colony Stimulating Factors
G-CSF is produced by a number of different tissues to stimulate the bone marrow to produce stem cells and release them into the blood circulation.
Insulin-like Growth Factor
IGF is one of the most potent natural activators of the AKT signaling pathway, a stimulator of cell growth and proliferation, and a potent inhibitor of programmed cell death.
Platelet-derived Growth Factor
PDGF helps regulate cell growth and it plays a significant role in blood vessel formation (angiogenesis). It also promotes mesenchymal cell division.