Published online Sep 26, 2020. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v12.i9.966
Peer-review started: May 27, 2020
First decision: June 15, 2020
Revised: June 23, 2020
Accepted: July 19, 2020
Article in press: July 19, 2020
Published online: September 26, 2020
Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) have various properties that make them promising candidates for stem cell-based therapies in clinical settings. These include self-renewal, multilineage differentiation, and immunoregulation. However, recent studies have confirmed that aging is a vital factor that limits their function and therapeutic properties as standardized clinical products. Understanding the features of senescence and exploration of cell rejuvenation methods are necessary to develop effective strategies that can overcome the shortage and instability of MSCs. This review will summarize the current knowledge on characteristics and functional changes of aged MSCs. Additionally, it will highlight cell rejuvenation strategies such as molecular regulation, non-coding RNA modifications, and microenvironment controls that may enhance the therapeutic potential of MSCs in clinical settings.
Core Tip: Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) administration is a promising therapeutic strategy for various human diseases. However, cell aging limits MSC function and therapeutic properties via reducing their activities. We review the morphological changes, molecular expression alterations, and functional degeneration of aged MSCs, and the effects of aged MSCs on immune cells and other target cells. Additionally, we summarize the strategies to rejuvenate aged MSCs to enhance their clinical potential.