Theranostics 2021; 11(12):5675-5685. doi:10.7150/thno.46436 This issue

Review

Application of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for aging frailty: from mechanisms to therapeutics

Yingqian Zhu1,2, Jianli Ge1,2, Ce Huang3, Hailiang Liu3✉, Hua Jiang1,2✉

1. Department of Geriatrics, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200123, China.
2. Department of General medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200123, China.
3. Institute for Regenerative Medicine, Shanghai East Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, 200123, China.

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Citation:
Zhu Y, Ge J, Huang C, Liu H, Jiang H. Application of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for aging frailty: from mechanisms to therapeutics. Theranostics 2021; 11(12):5675-5685. doi:10.7150/thno.46436. Available from https://www.thno.org/v11p5675.htm

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Abstract

Graphic abstract

Aging frailty is a complex geriatric syndrome that becomes more prevalent with advancing age. It constitutes a major health problem due to frequent adverse outcomes. Frailty is characterized by disruption of physiological homeostasis and progressive decline of health status. Multiple factors contribute to development of frailty with advancing age, including genome instability, DNA damage, epigenetic alternations, stem cell exhaustion, among others. These interrelated factors comprehensively result in loss of tissue homeostasis and diminished reserve capacity in frailty. Therefore, the aged organism gradually represents symptoms of frailty with decline in physiological functions of organs. Notably, the brain, cardiovascular system, skeletal muscle, and endocrine system are intrinsically interrelated to frailty. The patients with frailty may display the diminished reserves capacity of organ systems. Due to the complex pathophysiology, no specific treatments have been approved for prevention of this syndrome. At such, effective strategies for intervening in pathogenic process to improve health status of frail patients are highly needed. Recent progress in cell-based therapy has greatly contributed to the amelioration of degenerative diseases related to age. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can exert regenerative effects and possess anti-inflammatory properties. Transplantation of MSCs represents as a promising therapeutic strategy to address the pathophysiologic problems of frail syndrome. Currently, MSC therapy have undergone the phase I and II trials in human subjects that have endorsed the safety and efficacy of MSCs for aging frailty. However, despite these positive results, caution is still needed with regard to potential to form tumors, and further large-scale studies are warranted to confirm the therapeutic efficacy of MSC therapy.

Keywords: mesenchymal stem cells, aging frailty, aging, regenerative medicine, stem cell therapy