Mesenchymal stem cells also known as MSCs are those cell types which can be differentiated into a number of various cell types. These stem cells are found in the bone marrow, pulp of the teeth, fat and muscle and also in the synovium. These stem cells are also found abundantly in the umbilical cord.
The distinction should be made between the stem cells on the basis of the potency. Multipotent and pluripotent are the two kinds of stem cells available for differentiating the stem cells. Stem cells which are derived from adults are actually multipotent in their nature. They can be differentiated into a number of cell kinds and their ability to differentiate is limited. These are applicable for the stem cells derived from the fetuses. The stem cells derived from the embryos are pluripotent in their nature. These stem cells can differentiate into virtually any kind of cell. This makes them ideal for the repair of the various tissues in the body of the individual.
However there are two controversies regarding the use of the stem cells from the embryo. The first controversy is the ethical one about using stem cells from the embryo. This is debated in various parts of the world among practicing medical practitioners. The second controversy regarding the use of stem cells from the embryo is that the ability to turn them at the correct time is still under consideration.
The stem cells derived from the adults can be differentiated into different kinds of connective tissues making them really useful for the treatment of disorders such as arthritis. Often the adult stem cells are referred to as repair stem cells.
Mesenchymal stem cells are therefore very useful for the repair and regeneration of organs in the body which may have been damaged due to some disease and trauma.