Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are adult stem cells traditionally found in the bone marrow. However, mesenchymal stem cells can also be isolated from other tissues including cord blood, peripheral blood, fallopian tube, and fetal liver and lung. Multipotent stem cells, MSCs differentiate to form adipocytes, cartilage, bone, tendons, muscle, and skin. Mesenchymal stem cells are a distinct entity to the mesenchyme, embryonic connective tissue which is derived from the mesoderm and differentiates to form hematopoietic stem cells.
Morphologically, mesenchymal stem cells have long thin cell bodies with a large nucleus. As with other stem cell types, MSCs have a high capacity for self renewal while maintaining multipotency. Thus, mesenchymal stem cells have enormous therapeutic potential for tissue repair. MSCs have been shown to be capable of differentiating into multiple cell types including adipocytes, chondrocytes, osteocytes, and cardiomyocytes. R&D Systems offers products designed to identify the progression of MSCs into osteogenic, adipogenic, muscular, and chondrogenic lineages.