International journal of immunopathology and pharmacology

Human mesenchymal stem cells produce bioactive neurotrophic factors: source, individual variability and differentiation issues.

PMID 25280030


The possible use of cell therapies for neurological lesions and disorders is regarded as a very promising strategy. However, many issues related to cell type, tissue donor, expected biological action etc., are still open. In this study human mesenchymal stem cells derived from different fetal and adult tissues were examined in order to explore growth and neurotrophic factor synthesis and biological action, also considering the individual variability of the donors. Cells were derived from different human tissues and characterized according to the guidelines of the International Society for Cellular Therapy. Growth and neurotrophic factor synthesis was evaluated by real time PCR, biological assays and ELISA. It was found that human mesenchymal stem cells produce vascular endothelial-, nerve-growth factor (VEGF, NGF), brain-derived-, ciliary- and glial-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNF, CDGF, GDNF), which are neuroprotective molecules, but the source and the donor influence the synthesis rate. Accordingly, it is suggested that the source and the individual variability are key issues to be considered in the perspective of the clinical use of mesenchymal stem cells in neurological disorders.