The fields of regenerative medicine and cellular therapy have been the subject of tremendous hype and hope. In particular, the perceived usage of somatic cells like mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) has captured the imagination of many. MSCs are a rare population of cells found in multiple regions within the body that can be readily expanded ex vivo and utilized clinically. Originally, it was hypothesized that transplantation of MSCs to sites of injury would lead to de novo tissue-specific differentiation and thereby replace damaged tissue. Now, it is generally agreed that MSC home to sites of injury and direct positive remodeling via the secretion of paracrine factors. Consequently, their clinical utilization has largely revolved around their abilities to promote neovascularization for ischemic disorders and modulate overly exuberant inflammatory responses for autoimmune and alloimmune conditions. One of the major issues surrounding the development of somatic cell therapies like MSCs is that despite evoking a positive response, long-term engraftment and persistence of these cells is rare. Consequently, very large cell doses need be administered for raising production, delivery, and efficacy issues. In this review, we will outline the field of MSC in the context of ischemia and discuss causes for their lack of persistence. In addition, some of the methodologies be used to enhance their therapeutic potential will be highlighted.
Key words: Ischemia paracrine, mesenchymal stromal cells