Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2014;10(1):84-8.

Ligament and tendon repair through regeneration using mesenchymal stem cells.

Bharathi Ramdass and Prasad S Koka*

Department of Virology and Immunology, Haffkine Institute, Acharya Donde Marg, Parel, Mumbai- 400 012, India.



One of Nature’s gifts to mankind is mesenchymal stem cells (MSC’s). They are multipotent in nature and are present literally in every tissue. Since, they possess certain characteristics of stem cells such as self-renewal and differentiation they are known to be one of the key players in normal tissue homeostasis. This novel function of mesenchymal stem cells has been explored by scientists in the field of regenerative medicine. This review gives an insight of the various sources of mesenchymal stem cells available for tissue engineering with regard to tendon and ligament and the mechanism involved during regeneration.

PMID: 25274564



A large body of evidence suggests that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent stromal cells and non-hematopoietic in nature found in the bone marrow. They are also present in various adult tissues such as fat, umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, placenta, dental pulp, tendons, synovial membrane and skeletal muscle (1, 2). Another school of thought suggests that MSCs are present as vascular pericytes. Pericytes are perivascular cells present in many tissues in the blood vessel walls. They exhibit similar characteristics as mesenchymal stem cells such as they express mesenchymal stem cell markers and also have the potential to differentiate into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, smooth muscle cells and myocytes. An extensive research finding suggests pericytes as a potential source of MSCs (1) however, to consider MSCs to be present as vascular pericytes in different tissues; further research needs to be carried out. One of the important characteristics of MSCs is to self-renew and differentiate into multiple cell types. This function of MSCs plays a vital role in normal tissue homeostasis. We address how scientists have explored the novel function of mesenchymal stem cells in regenerative medicine in particular to tendon and ligament repair. Whenever there is tissue injury the body sends signals to recruit the MSCs to the site of injury and along with the growth factors, signaling pathway / molecules and the immediate microenvironment plays a significant role in healing process (Fig 1). The review also throws light on how iPSC derived MSCs can be a valuable source in regenerative medicine since they play a vital role in preventing allograft rejection (3, 4).

MSC tendon ligament repair  Final revised 8072015




  1. Schipani, E., and Kronenberg, H.M., Adult mesenchymal stem cells (January 31, 2009), StemBook, ed. The Stem Cell Research Community, StemBook, doi/10.3824/stembook.1.38.1,
  2. Xi J, Yan X, Zhou J, Yue W, Pei X. Mesenchymal stem cells in tissue repairing and regeneration: Progress and Future. Burns and Trauma 2013; 1(1): 13-20.
  3. Giuliani M, Oudrhiri N, Noman ZM, et al. Human Mesenchymal stem cells derived from pluripotent stem cells downregulate NK cell cytolytic machinery. Blood 2011; 118(12): 3254-62.
  4. Das M, Sundell IB, Koka PS. Potency of adult mesenchymal stem cells in the cell based therapy. J Stem Cells 2013; 8(1): 1-16.



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