Mechanism of Action of Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs): impact of delivery method

Luiza L. Bagno, Alessandro G. Salerno, Wayne Balkan, Joshua Hare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs; AKA mesenchymal stem cells) stimulate healing and reduce inflammation. Promising therapeutic responses are seen in many late-phase clinical trials, but others have not satisfied their primary endpoints, making translation of MSCs into clinical practice difficult. These inconsistencies may be related to the route of MSC delivery, lack of product optimization, or varying background therapies received in clinical trials over time. Areas covered: Here we discuss the different routes of MSC delivery, highlighting the proposed mechanism(s) of therapeutic action as well as potential safety concerns. PubMed search criteria used: MSC plus: local administration; routes of administration; delivery methods; mechanism of action; therapy in different diseases. Expert Opinion: Direct injection of MSCs using a controlled local delivery approach appears to have benefits in certain disease states, but further studies are required to make definitive conclusions regarding the superiority of one delivery method over another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Local Injection
  • Mechanism of Action
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells
  • Mscs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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