SIGNIFICANCE: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), adult stem cells with the potential of differentiation into mesodermal lineages, play an important role in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. In different organs, a subpopulation of MSCs is located near the vasculature and possibly represents the original source of lineage-committed mesenchymal progenitors. Recent Advances: The plasticity and immune characteristics of MSCs render them a preferential tool for regenerative cell therapy.
CRITICAL ISSUES: The culture expansion needed before MSC transplantation is associated with cellular senescence. Moreover, accelerated senescence of the total and perivascular MSC pool has been observed in humans and mouse models of premature aging disorders. MSC dysfunction is acknowledged as a culprit for the aging-associated degeneration of mesodermal tissues, but the underlying epigenetic pathways remain elusive. This article reviews current understanding of mechanisms impinging on MSC health, including oxidative stress, Nrf2-antioxidant responsive element activity, sirtuins, noncoding RNAs, and PKCs.
FUTURE DIRECTIONS: We provide evidence that epigenetic profiling of MSCs is utilitarian to the prediction of therapeutic outcomes. In addition, strategies that target oxidative stress-associated mechanisms represent promising approaches to counteract the detrimental effect of age and senescence in MSCs.-Antioxid. Redox Signal. 00, 000-000.