Mesenchymal stem cell
Mesenchymal stem cells, or MSCs, are multipotent stromal cells that can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including: osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells), and adipocytes (fat cells).
While the terms Mesenchymal Stem Cell and Marrow Stromal Cell have been used interchangeably, neither term is sufficiently descriptive:
Mesenchyme is embryonic connective tissue that is derived from the mesoderm and that differentiates into hematopoietic and connective tissue, whereas MSCs do not differentiate into hematopoietic cells.
Stromal cells are connective tissue cells that form the supportive structure in which the functional cells of the tissue reside. While this is an accurate description for one function of MSCs, the term fails to convey the relatively recently discovered roles of MSCs in the repair of tissue.
Because the cells, called MSCs by many labs today, can encompass multipotent cells derived from other non-marrow tissues, such as umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue, adult muscle, corneal stroma or the dental pulp of deciduous baby teeth, yet do not have the capacity to reconstitute an entire organ, the term Multipotent Stromal Cell has been proposed as a better replacement.