As you age, the number of stem cells in your body starts to decline, therefore so does the time it takes to repair sites of injury. Adult mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are the only stem cells that can transform into bone, cartilage, tendon, or ligament cells, depending on what your body needs to repair.
These stem cell powerhouses modulate your immune system, rapidly grouping to the site of injury in order to start repairing your own body from the inside out.
MSCs are also the only stem cells that produce fibroblasts cells which repair and produce collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycan. MSC treatments for the skin help increase fibroblast activity and therefore skin firmness, elasticity and hydration.
Stem cells can help in the repair of injured and damaged structures and they also create new cells in existing healthy tissue.
Cell types that makeup each organ in the body are derived from stem cells. Stem cells give rise to progenitor cells that have more specialized functions and are no longer undifferentiated (For example, brain cells, red blood cells and in particular, components of bone and cartilage). Originally, it was thought that adult stem cells can only generate the same type of tissue from which they originated but new studies have shown that adult stem cells can potentially generate other cell types, as well. This property is called transdifferentiation or plasticity. For example, liver cells can produce insulin, which is normally produced by the pancreas.
In the proper environment, bone marrow stromal cells (which are mesenchymal stem cells) can differentiate into cells of the musculoskeletal system and can help in the formation of trabecular bone, tendon, ligaments, articular cartilage and part of the bone marrow.
Therefore, mesenchymal stem cells that are obtained from living adult tissue have gained a lot of attention especially from orthopedic surgeons.