Stem cells are nothing new in the field if science and medicine. In fact, it is one of the most researched things in the medical community because it is quite promising in what it can do.
However, there is a term that the scientific community wants to abolish and that term is Mesenchymal Stem Cells. The move to stop the use of the term spawned because it leads to confusion.
Mesenchymal stem cells, at least what it was originally used for, was used to refer to stem cells that were taken from the bone marrow. However, the use of the term has spread to many different stem cells with varying levels of multipotency such as blood stem cells, diverse tissues, and so much more.
The use of the term mires the other stem cells that could potentially have more benefit in the field of medicine and its research, but are always put in the MSC bucket.
Pamela Robey, a stem cell biologist in Bethesda, Maryland, told The Scientist that it is just a bogus name and it shouldn’t be used anymore. She, along with two other co-authors, said that the use of the word just furthers the confusion of both people and scientists alike.
How the Term Came to Be?
The term Mesenchymal Stem Cells was first used by Biologist Arnold Caplan back in 1991. He described those cells because they were isolated from bone marrow stroma, which could potentially give rise to cartilage and bone.
Ever since its usage, the term was also used from cells that were extracted from other tissues and then turned into liver, nerve, kidney, and heart cells during an in vitro procedure.
There was this group called the International Society of Cellular Therapy and they advised to use the term Multipotent Mesenchymal Stromal Cell for the types of cells that were mentioned earlier. However, the advice wasn’t heeded by the scientific community and proceeded to use the already established term.
The use of Mesenchymal Stem Cells for pretty much any application of adult stem cells in treatments and therapies were mainly used as a means to entice people to get them. You see, whenever you throw around some buzzwords and scientific terms, people would instantly assume that it is something that is worth noting and getting.
Although if you use it for that sense, there is no problem at all. But, when used in scientific studies and literature, it can pollute the studies in a way that it makes it hard for the researchers to distinguish which one is which because the words have become a collective term that talks about adult stem cells.
Although mesenchymal stem cells refer to adult stem cells no matter where they are derived from, in a clinical sense, it is okay to use it as a means to promote its use in therapy. But, only the scientific community will have a final say whether to keep using that term or not.