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  • immunocell immunocell Nov 2, 2011 9:51 AM Flag

    Review: Preclinical studies on placenta-derived cells and amniotic membrane: an update.

    1. Placenta. 2011 Mar;32 Suppl 2:S186-95. Epub 2011 Jan 19.

    Review: Preclinical studies on placenta-derived cells and amniotic membrane: an
    update.

    Parolini O, Caruso M.

    Centro di Ricerca E. Menni, Fondazione Poliambulanza-Istituto Ospedaliero,
    Brescia, Italy. ornella.parolini@tin.it

    Recent years have seen considerable advances in our knowledge of the biology and
    properties of stem/progenitor cells isolated from placental tissues. This has
    encouraged researchers to address the potential effects of these cells in animal
    models of different diseases, resulting in increasing expectations regarding
    their possible utility for cell-based therapeutic applications. This rapidly
    evolving research field is also enriched by studies aimed at expanding the use of
    the whole amniotic membrane (AM), a well-known surgical material, for
    pathological conditions other than those tested so far and for which clinical
    applications already exist. In this review, we provide an update on studies that
    have been performed with placenta-derived cells and fragments of the entire AM to
    validate their potential clinical applications in a variety of diseases, in
    particular those associated with degenerative processes induced by inflammatory
    and fibrotic mechanisms. We also offer, as far as possible, insight into the
    interpretation and suggested mechanisms to explain the most important outcomes
    achieved to date

    It is clear that the range of potential clinical applications of
    placenta-derived cells and of fragments of the entire AM is continuously
    widening and evolving.
    Although, initially, differentiation of placenta-derived cells to
    specific lineages was considered the first necessity for their therapeutic
    application in vivo, with the idea that these cells should
    replace defective cells and regenerate damaged tissues, it is now
    emerging that the beneficial effects may more likely be due to
    secretion of bioactive molecules that could act on other cells and
    on the microenvironment which they occupy, promoting endogenous
    tissue repair or eliciting other beneficial effects (antiinflammatory,
    anti-scarring, angiogenic, etc.) through paracrine
    actions. Nevertheless, the two mechanisms (tissue-specific differentiation
    versus paracrine actions) are not mutually exclusive and
    both can account for the observed improvements. Although many
    of the observations from preclinical models support the hypothesis
    of a paracrine mechanism of action of placental cells and
    fragments of the entire AM, in most cases this remains a hypothesis
    arising very often from purely descriptive results, with no
    molecular dissection of mechanisms, components or target cells of
    these mechanisms, and with many vital pieces of information still
    lacking. Therefore, elucidation of these mechanisms is paramount
    to future clinical applications.

 
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