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Curr Opin Immunol. 2006 Oct;18(5):586-91. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Mesenchymal stem cells: properties and role in clinical bone marrow transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Immunology, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, F79, SE-141 86 Stockholm, Sweden.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can be isolated from bone marrow, adipose tissue, cord blood and various fetal tissues. They have the capacity to differentiate into several tissues, including bone, cartilage, tendon, muscle and adipose, and produce growth factors and cytokines that promote hematopoietic cell expansion and differentiation. MSCs also have anti-proliferative, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects, but only evoke little immune reactivity. In vivo, MSCs prolong skin allograft survival and reverse severe acute graft-versus-host disease. Furthermore, they repair damaged tissue from kidney, heart, liver and gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, in the future, MSCs might have implications for treatment of allograft rejection, graft-versus-host disease, autoimmune inflammatory bowel disease and other disorders in which immunomodulation and tissue repair are required.

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