Most people believe in limited stem cell homing

Stem Cell Homing Poll
Stem cell homing poll results.

I recently did a poll on stem cell homing.

As you can see from the poll results above, most respondents believe that stem cells can home depending on circumstances. Almost 2/3 of respondents believe that stem cells sometimes or always home in to areas of disease.

However, most respondents did not believe in this being a universal property.

Why would stem cells home to diseases? It seems that injured tissues release cytokines that attract certain cells including immune cells. Maybe stem cells too?

It’s also possible that injured tissues change the adhesion molecules they express on their surfaces so that stem cells tend to stick and then stick around.

5 thoughts on “Most people believe in limited stem cell homing”

  1. Pingback: Improved MSC's----BWH/Harvard

  2. Hello Steve and Paul,

    Thanks for the message.

    Perhaps you will find interest in this paper published recently, I have been waiting most of the year for it to be made available:

    Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to read the full article. It appears to me that this is a dramatic improvement for engineered MSCs.

    It seems that they have been able to induce an anti-inflammatory response with interleukin-10 at targeted sites through mRNA transfection…quite an improvement over simply inducing a cell-rolling response.

    Perhaps this addresses the premise of Paul’s question:
    Do stem cells(or signaling cells?) home to the site of “DISEASE”….well it seems that this is step in the right direction?

    Thanks in advance for any clarification.


  3. For those interested in the subject I would refer them to America Stem Cell technology ( The idea is to attach fucose to the cell surface, which completes the synthesis of sialyl Lewis X, the ligand for selectins. Selectins are up regulated at sites of ischemia, inflammation or tissue damage. The technology is currently in Ph1/2a clinical trials for cord blood transplant; preliminary data are very exciting and will be presented at ASH. The technology is in preclinical development for a wide variety of stem and immune cell types and disease states.

  4. Pingback: Cells Weekly – August 25, 2013 | Stem Cell Assays

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