Abstract: Wharton’s jelly (WJ) is a gelatinous tissue within the umbilical cord that contains myofibroblast-like stromal cells. A unique cell population of WJ that has been suggested as displaying the stemness phenotype is the mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Because MSCs’ stemness and immune properties appear to be more robustly expressed and functional which are more comparable with fetal than adult-derived MSCs, MSCs harvested from the “young” WJ are considered much more proliferative, immunosuppressive, and even therapeutically active stem cells than those isolated from older, adult tissue sources such as the bone marrow or adipose. The present review discusses the phenotypic characteristics, therapeutic applications, and optimization of experimental protocols for WJ-derived stem cells. MSCs derived from WJ display promising transplantable features, including ease of sourcing, in vitro expandability, differentiation abilities, immune-evasion and immune-regulation capacities. Accumulating evidence demonstrates that WJ-derived stem cells possess many potential advantages as transplantable cells for treatment of various diseases (e.g., cancer, chronic liver disease, cardiovascular diseases, nerve, cartilage and tendon injury). Additional studies are warranted to translate the use of WJ-derived stem cells for clinical applications.
Keywords: umbilical cord; wharton’s jelly; mesenchymal stem cells; phenotypic characteristics; therapeutic applications; experimental protocol
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Kim, D.-W.; Staples, M.; Shinozuka, K.; Pantcheva, P.; Kang, S.-D.; Borlongan, C.V. Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Phenotypic Characterization and Optimizing Their Therapeutic Potential for Clinical Applications. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 11692-11712.
Kim D-W, Staples M, Shinozuka K, Pantcheva P, Kang S-D, Borlongan CV. Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Phenotypic Characterization and Optimizing Their Therapeutic Potential for Clinical Applications. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2013; 14(6):11692-11712.
Kim, Dae-Won; Staples, Meaghan; Shinozuka, Kazutaka; Pantcheva, Paolina; Kang, Sung-Don; Borlongan, Cesar V. 2013. "Wharton’s Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Phenotypic Characterization and Optimizing Their Therapeutic Potential for Clinical Applications." Int. J. Mol. Sci. 14, no. 6: 11692-11712.