Mesenchymal stem cell-mediated effects of tumor support or suppression

Ki Jong Rhee, Jong In Lee, Young Woo Eom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

153 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can exhibit a marked tropism towards site of tumors. Many studies have reported that tumor progression and metastasis increase by MSCs. In contrast, other studies have shown that MSCs suppress growth of tumors. MSCs contribute to tumor growth promotion by several mechanisms: (1) transition to tumor-associated fibroblasts; (2) suppression of immune response; (3) promotion of angiogenesis; (4) stimulation of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); (5) contribution to the tumor microenvironment; (6) inhibition of tumor cell apoptosis; and (7) promotion of tumor metastasis. In contrast to the tumor-promoting properties, MSCs inhibit tumor growth by increasing inflammatory infiltration, inhibiting angiogenesis, suppressing Wnt signaling and AKT signaling, and inducing cell cycle arrest and apoptosis. In this review, we will discuss potential mechanisms by which MSC mediates tumor support or suppression and then the possible tumor-specific therapeutic strategies using MSCs as delivery vehicles, based on their homing potential to tumors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30015-30033
Number of pages19
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec 16

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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