Where do Medicinal Signaling Cells (MSC) Come From?
Medicinal signaling cells (MSC) are important partners for the raw building blocks of our bodies – the cells that eventually become specialized to perform functions that keep us alive and healthy. Because they are essentially a “blank slate,” signaling cells are important in the study of regenerative medicine, disease treatment, and healing. In order to extract them for use in medicine, we must know where MSCs come from in the body and how best to harvest them. So, where do they come from? Let’s find out.
There are a few places where MSCs come from…
Perhaps the most controversial source of undifferentiated (pluripotent) cells is 3-5 day old human embryos contain embryonic cells. As a result, there are strict guidelines about the use of these cells. Embryos of this size are called a blastocyst and contains around 150 cells. Known as “pluripotent,” these cells have nearly unlimited potential. They may become any type of cell in the body or divide into more cells. However, for ethical reasons, most medical treatments do not utilize embryonic cells sourced from embryos. These are not the same as MSCs.
Placental And Cord Blood Derived
The placenta and umbilical cord of a human fetus are rich with growth factors, mainly hematopoietic, which become blood cells. Placental and cord blood sources are only present during pregnancy and delivery. The FDA has now provided more strict regulation regarding on the processing, labeling, and marketing of these products. Unless an exemption has been obtained, “like use” rules must be considered with these regulations in mind in order to make claims about the regenerative properties of placental or cord blood products. Otherwise, they may not be compliant with FDA guidance. Growth factors and MSCs are not the same thing.
Autologous mesenchymal cells are cells that are derived from your own tissue, such as liposuction harvested fat. These cells can have very robust medicinal signaling capabilities. For example, they can be powerful in turning on your own pluripotent cells. After an autologous harvest and during a regenerative therapy session, it is common to re-implant them into an injury site. MSCs can provide powerful benefits when used therapeutically. MSCs are usually sourced from two places:
- Bone Marrow – Autologous harvest, typically from the Iliac crest of the patient
- Adipose (Fat) Tissue – Autologous harvest, typically from places like the abdomen, buttock, or love handles
At Piedmont PMR, we use adult MSCs for treating a variety of musculoskeletal conditions. With MSC grafts/injections, we target the areas of the body frequently injured or affected by degenerative disease like the knees, hips, back, and hands. Through an in-office procedure, we can harvest your own cells and use them to stimulate your body to repair damaged tissues. In the case of osteoarthritis, one of the most common joint disorders, most patients report anywhere from 50-80% relief from symptoms within 6 months after treatment.