About this Research Topic
Regenerative medicine has the potential to produce a paradigm shift in medicine. In cases of severe organ damage, the most prevalent treatment option is whole organ transplantation. Regenerative medicine with stem/progenitor cells offers a less invasive option through its potential of reversing damage by facilitating the body’s natural regenerative process.
While stem cell-based therapy is considered a promising regenerative therapy modality, the tissue repair mechanism adopted by stem/progenitor cells is not fully understood. We address this knowledge gap in this article collection with original research as well as review articles that facilitate our understanding of the repair mechanisms employed by resident adult stem/progenitor cells in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Preclinical results and therapeutic applications are of particular interest as these studies are instrumental in realizing the full potential of regenerative therapy with stem/progenitor cells.
Several key issues must be resolved in order for regenerative therapy with stem/progenitor cells to reach its full clinical potential. In 2016, more than 300 clinical trials were registered in global clinical trial database in the USA (www.clinicaltrials.gov) and the EU (www.clinicaltrialsregister.eu), utilizing more than 30 different stem cell types; however, the cell types and cellular characteristics required to guarantee a satisfactory clinical outcome remains an ongoing scientific debate.
Another issue to be addressed is the potential for malignant transformation of adult stem cells. While adult stem/progenitor cells are generally considered to lack tumorigenicity, several recent studies have shown that the accumulation of genetic and/or epigenetic alterations occurring in stem/progenitor cells during aging and severe injuries, including chronic inflammation, could generate cell trans-differentiation and/or malignant transformation. This potential for malignant transformation makes it critical for us to better understand environmental influences on adult stem/progenitor cells and their function.
Another important aspect to explore is the soluble mediators released by stem cells. Stem cells actively interact and crosstalk with the tissue environment and immune cells not only by cell-to-cell interactions but also through paracrine mediators. Recent preclinical studies demonstrated regenerative effects using pre-conditioned medium without cell implantation. Such features make adult stem/progenitor cells a potential and important source of bioactive cargos for the homeostasis and repair of damaged tissues after severe injury.
To advance the therapeutic application of adult stem/progenitor cells, we welcome submissions of original research as well as review articles that will help in understanding the repair mechanisms of resident adult stem/progenitor cells in tissue homeostasis and regeneration. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• Perinatal Stem Cells and/or Secretome
• iPS Cells and/or Secretome
• Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and/or Secretome
• Resident Endothelial Progenitor Cells/Pericytes and/or Secretome
• Muscular Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Cardiac Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Renal Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Gastrointestinal Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Hepatic Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Pancreatic Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome
• Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome interactions with extra-cellular matrix
• Stem/Progenitor Cells and/or Secretome interactions with neoplastic tissues
Keywords: stem/progenitor cells, regenerative medicine, tissue repair mechanism, secretome, clinical trials
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.