Review > Vitam Horm. 2011;87:291-320. doi: 10.1016/8978-0-12-386015-6.00033-0.
MicroRNAs and mesenchymal stem cells
Federica Collino 1, Stefania Bruno, Maria Chiara Deregibus, Ciro Tetta, Giovanni Camussi
Affiliations + expand
PMID: 22127248 DOI: 10.1016/8978-0-12-386015-6.00033-0
In the adult body, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a population with self-renewal ability and
multipotent differentiation capabilities. The phenotype of these cells is modulated by a dynamic
interplay of signals within a defined microenvironment. Recent studies indicate that microRNAs
(miRNAs) act as regulatory signals for maintaining of stemless, self-renewal, and differentiation in
embryonic and adult stem cells. miRNAs are noncoding RNAs with pleiotropic effect dependent on
posttranscriptional regulation of gene expression. In the stem cell biology, miRNAs by repressing
translation of specific mRNAs, may determine the fate of these cells. The characterization of miRNAs
present in MSCs may be relevant not only as signature of the cell type but also for the understanding
of their biological activities. Recent studies indicate also that the exchange of miRNAs between
neigh boring cells is an integral part of MSC communication with tissue-injured cells. The transport of
miRNAs within biological fluids is guaranteed by microvesicles (MVs) that after release from the cell of
origin may enter into a target cell delivering their cargo. MVs may allow a bidirectional exchange of
miRNAs between injured cells and MSCs. The exchange of genetic information may on one hand,
reprogram the phenotype of MSCs, to acquire features of the injured tissues. On the other hand, MVs
derived from stem cells may activate regenerative programs in cells survived to injury. The study of
miRNAs, their biological function, and their transfer opens a new dimension on the fate and behavior
of MSCs and on their potential application in regenerative medicine.
Copyright© 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.