Bone marrow-derived cells: A potential approach for the treatment of xerostomia.
ABSTRACT Transplantations of bone marrow-derived cells (BMDCs) are traditionally used for hematologic diseases, but there are increasing numbers of clinical trials using BMDC treatments for non-hematologic disorders, including autoimmune diseases. BMDCs are recently reported to improve organ functions. This paper will review available reports supporting the role of BMDCs in reducing xerostomia (i.e. re-establishing salivary gland functions) due to head and neck irradiation for cancer therapies and in Sjögren's syndrome. There are reports that BMDCs provide a beneficial effect on the saliva production. BMDCs positively affect blood vessels stability and regeneration in irradiated salivary glands. Also, BMDCs provide an immunomodulatory activity in mice with Sjögren's-like disease. While the exact mechanisms by which BMDCs improve organ functions remain controversial, there is preliminary evidence that a combination of them (such as cell transdifferentiation, vasculogenesis, and paracrine effect) occur in salivary glands.