Copyright ©The Author(s) 2015. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Stem Cells. Jun 26, 2015; 7(5): 789-792
Published online Jun 26, 2015. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v7.i5.789
Mesenchymal stem cells: A new diagnostic tool?
Maria Teresa Valenti, Antonio Mori, Giovanni Malerba, Luca Dalle Carbonare
Maria Teresa Valenti, Antonio Mori, Luca Dalle Carbonare, Department of Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine D, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy
Antonio Mori, Giovanni Malerba, Department of Life and Reproduction Sciences, Section of Biology and Genetics, University of Verona, 37135 Verona, Italy
Author contributions: Valenti MT prepared the original draft; Mori A and Malerba G wrote some sections in the manuscript; Dalle Carbonare L revised the manuscript.
Conflict-of-interest: All authors disclose no financial and personal relationships with other people or organizations that could inappropriately influence (bias) their work.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article which was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Correspondence to: Maria Teresa Valenti, PhD, Department of Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine D, University of Verona, Piazzale Scuro, 10, 37134 Verona, Italy. mariateresa.valenti@univr.it
Telephone: +39-045-8128450 Fax: +39-045-8027496
Received: January 16, 2015
Peer-review started: January 18, 2015
First decision: March 6, 2015
Revised: March 27, 2015
Accepted: April 28, 2015
Article in press: April 30, 2015
Published online: June 26, 2015

Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are progenitor cells capable of self-renewal that can differentiate in multiple tissues and, under specific and standardized culture conditions, expand in vitro with little phenotypic alterations. In recent years, preclinical and clinical studies have focused on MSC analysis and understanding the potential use of these cells as a therapy in a wide range of pathologies, and many applications have been tested. Clinical trials using MSCs have been performed (e.g., for cardiac events, stroke, multiple sclerosis, blood diseases, auto-immune disorders, ischemia, and articular cartilage and bone pathologies), and for many genetic diseases, these cells are considered an important resource. Considering of the biology of MSCs, these cells may also be useful tools for understanding the physiopathology of different diseases, and they can be used to develop specific biomarkers for a broad range of diseases. In this editorial, we discuss the literature related to the use of MSCs for diagnostic applications and we suggest new technologies to improve their employment.

Keywords: Mesenchymal stem cells, Biomarkers, Next generation sequencing, Diagnostic tool, Tumor-initiating cells

Core tip: Mesenchymal stem cells have been considered potential tools for therapeutic applications in a wide range of pathologies. However, these cells may be used to develop specific biomarkers in a broad range of diseases and they could be considered useful tools to perform new strategies to get early diagnoses. Rare stem cell populations can be studied by recent technologies such as Next Generation Sequencing in order to develop specific marker for diagnostic and prognostic applications.