Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Prospective Therapy for the Diabetic Foot

Mesenchymal Stem Cells as a Prospective Therapy for the Diabetic Foot

Stem Cells International



Stem Cells Int. 2016; 2016: 4612167.  Published online 2016 Oct 27. doi: 10.1155/2016/4612167

QinanWu, Bing Chen, and Ziwen Liang



The diabetic foot is a serious complication of diabetes. Mesenchymal stem cells are an abundant source of stem cells which occupy a special position in cell therapies, and recent studies have suggested that mesenchymal stem cells can play essential roles in treatments for the diabetic foot. Here, we discuss the advances that have been made in mesenchymal stem cell treatments for this condition. The roles and functional mechanisms of mesenchymal stem cells in the diabetic foot are also summarized, and insights into current and future studies are presented.



In recent years, a large number of in vivo animal models have been used to study the idea that transplanted MSCs promote local blood vessel formation. The transplanted MSCs secrete a large number of cytokines and growth factors under certain conditions, participate in the formation of new capillaries, improve the local microcirculation, increase the blood supply to peripheral blood vessels, and promote healing in the diabetic foot. This transplantation is therefore one of the prospective treatments for diabetic lower limb ischemia, diabetic ulcers, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy, and it has become an important topic of research in the life sciences. However, the following problems remain: (1) methods to obtain more MSCs are needed; (2) the purity of MSCs must be improved; (3) stem cell quality detection methods must be unified; (4) the method to achieve the best therapeutic effect using MSCs is yet to be determined; (5) methods to identify the survival rate, effectiveness, and long-term efficacy of MSCs after transplantation are needed; (6) after transplantation, the possibility of uncontrolled cell differentiation and proliferation and the development of tumors must be explored; and (7) the detailed mechanism by which MSC transplantation functions as a treatment for the diabetic foot remains unknown. We believe that these problems will be solved gradually in future investigations.


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