Mesenchymal stem cells for critical limb ischemia: their function, mechanism, and therapeutic potential

Laura V. Lozano Navarro, Xueyi Chen, Lady Tatiana Giratá Viviescas, Andrea K. Ardila-Roa, Maria L. Luna-Gonzalez, Claudia L. Sossa, Martha L. Arango-Rodríguez

Research output: Articles / NotesArticle in a non-specialized journalpeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Peripheral arterial disease is atherosclerotic occlusive disease of the lower extremity arteries and afflicts hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. Its most severe manifestation is chronic limb-threatening ischemia (Petersen et al. (Science 300(5622):1140–2, 2003)), which is associated with severe pain at rest in the limbs, which progresses to necrosis, limb amputation, and/or death of the patient. Consequently, the care of these patients is considered a financial burden for both patients and health systems. Multidisciplinary endeavors are required to address this refractory disease and to find definitive solutions that lead to improved living conditions. Revascularization is the cornerstone of therapy for preventing limb amputation, and both open vascular surgery and endovascular therapy play a key role in the treatment of patients with CLI. Around one-third of these patients are not candidates for conventional surgical treatment, however, leading to higher amputation rates (approaching 20–25% at one year) with high morbidity and lower quality of life. Advances in regenerative medicine have enabled the development of cell-based therapies that promote the formation of new blood vessels. Particularly, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have emerged as an attractive therapeutic agent in various diseases, including CLI, due to their role in tissue regeneration and immunomodulation. This review discusses the characteristics of MSCs, as well as their regenerative properties and their action mechanisms on CLI.

Original languageEnglish
Article number345
JournalStem Cell Research and Therapy
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Blood vessels
  • Critical limb ischemia
  • Limb amputation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Revascularization


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