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Skeletal (stromal) stem cells – basic biology and clinical use in tissue regeneration
Human bone marrow-derived stromal stem cells [also known as skeletal stem cells or mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs)] are a group of clonogenic cells that are present among the bone marrow stroma as well as the stroma of other organs. hMSCs are capable of multilineage differentiation into mesoderm-type cells such as osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes, and possibly, but still controversial, non-mesoderm-type cells (e.g. neuronal cells or hepatocytes). Moreover, hMSCs provide supportive stroma for growth and differentiation of haematopoietic stem cells and haematopoiesis. Recently, hMSCs have been employed in an increasing number of cell-based therapies for treating skeletal and non-skeletal chronic degenerative diseases.