Recently, bone marrow mononuclear cells (BMMC) have been in the spotlight for having the potential to treat a variety of diseases including neurological disorders. Why are BMMC so exciting and do they really show treatment potential? BMMC have regenerative capabilities and are a heterogeneous population of single nucleus cells which include hematopoietic progenitor cells, immature monocytes and lymphocytes, and importantly hematopoietic stem cells. Hematopoietic stem cells have the ability to self-renew and can differentiate into a variety of cell types. Recent studies with animal models show great promise for BMMC in multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, ischemic stroke, cardiovascular disease, and type-1 diabetes. BMMC may also be utilized for bone tissue engineering. To date, preliminary human clinical trials indicate treating patients with ischemic vascular disease, peripheral arterial disease, bone nonunion, or pressure ulcers using autologous BMMC appear promising. Encouragingly, BMMC have great potential as a cell therapy in humans because they have been shown to be reasonably safe. Further studies using autologous BMMC therapy will be necessary to determine the efficacy of these treatments.
Despite the potential benefits of BMMC therapy, the mechanisms and the specific cell type(s) responsible are not well defined. While some studies suggest that hematopoietic stem cells are responsible for repairing the damage, other research indicates that a combination of mononuclear cells is critical for the therapeutic effects. Whether one cell type or the milieu of cells is important, what is certain is that more research is required. Given the safety and the potential of these cells to treat so many conditions, researchers are energized to better understand how BMMC function in normal and diseased states.
At ScienCell Research Laboratories, we offer a selection of hematopoietic cells including mononuclear cells derived from the bone marrow, spleen, lymph nodes, or the liver and macrophages derived from the bone marrow, liver or spleen. In addition, we offer specialty medium for our hematopoietic cells.
Director of R&D, Scientific Affairs at ScienCell Research Laboratories