Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that are derived from the Wharton’s Jelly found in umbilical cords have several advantages over other types of stem cells. The neonatal sources for mesenchymal stem cells, including the umbilical cord, have fewer limitations than other types of stem cells. MSCs derived from Wharton’s Jelly are not limited by age related changes that decrease growth and differentiation capacity that are seen in adult MSCs found in bone marrow and adipose.
Wharton’s Jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) show faster self renewal than do bone marrow stem cells. Their gene expression profile is more similar to embryonic stem cells. However, these MSCs come without the ethical concerns, or the technical issues related to the depletion of immature stem cells that may result in teratoma, often associated with embryonic cells.
WJ-MSCs meet the criteria for positive marker expression, plastic adhesion, and trilineage differentiation capacity. Umbilical cord MSCs exhibit broader stem features than do adult MSCs.
Several research teams, Bongso and Fong, and Nagamura-Inoue and He, each indicate that the differentiation capacity of mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord tissue is far greater than earlier research had indicated.
Their published work can be viewed here:
Cord Blood vs Umbilical Allografts
Nagamura-Inoue and He explain that cord blood MSCs cannot be consistently isolated. As cord blood (CB) cells circulate in the preterm fetus it is not known with consistency where CB cells settle at term, thus CB may not be the best source for MSCs. This inconsistency in cord blood MSCs has led to a great deal of focus being placed upon the umbilical cord as the more consistent source for MSCs.
Compared with other stem cells, mesenchymal stem cells derived from the umbilical cord have numerous advantages:
- The collection process is non-invasive as the cord is considered a waste product
- There is a low risk of infection
- MSCs are multipotent
- Low immunogenicity with a good immunosuppressive ability
What can a Physician expect mesenchymal stem cells to treat?
The healing potential of WJ-MSCs in regenerative medicine is centered around direct reparation and tissue remodeling, immunomodulation, and its paracrine effects. Therefore, MSCs are being used to treat:
- Joint dysfunction
- Cartilage damage
- Tendon and ligament damage
- Soft tissue damage
- Partial rotator cuff tears
- Pinched nerves
- Bone spurs
- Muscular tears
- Plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder issues
- Hip problems
- Patella damage
- Bone spurs
- Disc issues
- Certain Spinal conditions
In conclusion, we recommend adding regenerative medicine and procedures containing Wharton’s Jelly Mesenchymal Stem Cells because you can help more patients and see better patient outcomes.