Research Topic

MSC Communication in Physiological and Pathological Settings

About this Research Topic

Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC) have been studied since the late 1960’s and firstly identified in bone marrow. Initial studies showed that MSC had the potential for differentiation into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes and that, in addition, they supported hematopoiesis. Based on these properties, their potential use to repair bones and cartilage was recognized immediately. Subsequent work highlighted the presence of similar cells in any tissue and other MSC properties such as their immunomodulatory and antifibrotic activities. Both in vivo pre-clinical animal models and first in human clinical trials have extended the analyses of MSC transplantation actions in disorders related to dysfunction of endogenous MSC due to aging, genetic abnormalities, and environmental epigenetic factors. Of the ability of MSC to communicate with their local microenvironment and systemically is now appreciated as their predominant mechanism of action, making them a privileged tool for regenerative medical applications.

In vivo experiments and clinical trials have demonstrated that MSC exert beneficial effects under several pathological conditions (GvHD, arteritis) through mechanisms of action are a direct consequence of their microenvironmental and/or systemic communication capacity. However, the MSC communication can be varied according to the physiological or pathophysiological situation and may include the secretion of small molecules, cytokines, adipokines, microRNA, and exosome/vesicles as well as direct cell-cell interactions mediated via surface receptors.

This Research Topic aims to provide a fundamental presentation of the current status of understanding relating to the MSC’s communication avenues in pathophysiological settings and relating these findings to their clinical translation.

• Soluble molecules for communication (small molecules, cytokines, adipokines)
• Microvesicles and exosomes
• Communication by contact (receptors and surface antigens)
• Exchange of biological materials (mitochondria)
• Communication of MSC and tissue repair
• Tissue-resident MSC and the diversity
• Native MSC communication
• Injected MSC communication
• Implications for clinical translation, manufacturing, and regulatory approval


Dr. Bourin works in a biotechnology company that develops a production process of ASC for clinical uses. Dr. Gimble is a co-founder, co-owner, and Chief Scientific Officer at Obatala Sciences and LaCell, biotechnology companies focused on the clinical translation of adipose-derived cells and tissues. The other Guest Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: MSC, Cell Communication, Microvesicules, Cell Therapy, Pathophysiology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSC) have been studied since the late 1960’s and firstly identified in bone marrow. Initial studies showed that MSC had the potential for differentiation into osteoblasts, chondrocytes and adipocytes and that, in addition, they supported hematopoiesis. Based on these properties, their potential use to repair bones and cartilage was recognized immediately. Subsequent work highlighted the presence of similar cells in any tissue and other MSC properties such as their immunomodulatory and antifibrotic activities. Both in vivo pre-clinical animal models and first in human clinical trials have extended the analyses of MSC transplantation actions in disorders related to dysfunction of endogenous MSC due to aging, genetic abnormalities, and environmental epigenetic factors. Of the ability of MSC to communicate with their local microenvironment and systemically is now appreciated as their predominant mechanism of action, making them a privileged tool for regenerative medical applications.

In vivo experiments and clinical trials have demonstrated that MSC exert beneficial effects under several pathological conditions (GvHD, arteritis) through mechanisms of action are a direct consequence of their microenvironmental and/or systemic communication capacity. However, the MSC communication can be varied according to the physiological or pathophysiological situation and may include the secretion of small molecules, cytokines, adipokines, microRNA, and exosome/vesicles as well as direct cell-cell interactions mediated via surface receptors.

This Research Topic aims to provide a fundamental presentation of the current status of understanding relating to the MSC’s communication avenues in pathophysiological settings and relating these findings to their clinical translation.

• Soluble molecules for communication (small molecules, cytokines, adipokines)
• Microvesicles and exosomes
• Communication by contact (receptors and surface antigens)
• Exchange of biological materials (mitochondria)
• Communication of MSC and tissue repair
• Tissue-resident MSC and the diversity
• Native MSC communication
• Injected MSC communication
• Implications for clinical translation, manufacturing, and regulatory approval


Dr. Bourin works in a biotechnology company that develops a production process of ASC for clinical uses. Dr. Gimble is a co-founder, co-owner, and Chief Scientific Officer at Obatala Sciences and LaCell, biotechnology companies focused on the clinical translation of adipose-derived cells and tissues. The other Guest Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: MSC, Cell Communication, Microvesicules, Cell Therapy, Pathophysiology


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

26 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

26 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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