This paper from June 2019 is a comprehensive review of the properties of mesenchymal stem cells derived from Wharton’s Jelly (WJ-MSC), a gelatinous tissue found in umbilical cord. This is arguably one of the best sources of MSCs, as the cells are young and healthy compared to cells from older sources, are relatively easy to work with in the lab, and carry no ethical issues as they can be obtained from donated afterbirth that would be discarded otherwise. We’ve been using them in our research team for years now. The authors of this paper cite over 80 articles, comparing the therapeutic potential of WJ-MSC to those of MSC derived from other tissues, and review the immunomodulatory effects of WJ-MSC at the molecular level.
The Immunomodulatory Potential of Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem/Stromal Cells.
The benefits attributed to mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) in cell therapy applications are mainly attributed to the secretion of factors, which exhibit immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects and stimulate angiogenesis. Despite the desirable features such as high proliferation levels, multipotency, and immune response regulation, there are important variables that must be considered. Although presenting similar morphological aspects, MSC collected from different tissues can form heterogeneous cellular populations and, therefore, manifest functional differences. Thus, the source of MSC should be a factor to be considered in the development of novel therapies. The following text presents an updated review of recent research outcomes related to Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (WJ-MSC), harvested from umbilical cords and considered novel and potential candidates for the development of cell-based approaches. This text highlights information on how WJ-MSC affect immune responses in comparison with other sources of MSC.