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Br J Haematol. 2009 Oct;147(2):200-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.2009.07781.x.

Immune regulatory cells in umbilical cord blood: T regulatory cells and mesenchymal stromal cells.

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  • 1Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, Department of Pediatrics and Center for Translational Medicine, University of Minnesota, MMC 366, 420 Delaware St SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA.


A major goal in haematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is to retain the lymphohaematopoietic potential of the cell transfer without its side effects. In addition to the physical injury caused by the conditioning regimen, donor T cells can react to alloantigens of the recipient and cause graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), which accounts for the largest share of morbidity and mortality after HCT. Immune modulator cells, such as regulatory T cells (Tregs) and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have shown promise in their ability to control GVHD and yet, in preclinical models, preserve the graft-versus-malignancy effect. Initially, MSCs and Tregs have been isolated from adult sources, such as bone marrow or peripheral blood, respectively. More recent studies have indicated that umbilical cord blood (UCB) is a rich source of both cell types. We will review the current data on UCB-derived Tregs and MSCs and their therapeutic implications.

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