A stem cell niche is a dynamic microenvironment that can maintain stem cells in a quiescent state in healthy tissues and then change to deploy stem cells for tissue growth or repair. Among the stem niches of the body, the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche in the bone marrow has been widely investigated and depends in large part on the function of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). MSCs can be derived from most types of human tissues and can be stimulated to differentiate into many mature mesenchymal cell types. Even so, the clinical utility of MSCs for tissue regeneration is not via differentiation to mature mesenchymal cell types. Instead, paracrine factors secreted by MSCs, especially those which avert immune responses of the recipient, account for most ...

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