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Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2010 Mar;6(2):211-8.

Potential of mesenchymal stem cells for the therapy of autoimmune diseases.

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  • 1Laboratory of Oncology, G. Gaslini Children's Hospital, Largo G. Gaslini 5, 16148 Genova, Italy.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a heterogeneous population of stromal cells that are usually isolated from the bone marrow and differentiate into cells of mesodermal lineage. MSCs exert immunosuppressive activities by suppressing T- and B-cell proliferation, dampening the generation of mature myeloid dendritic cells, and inhibiting the proliferation, cytokine production and cytotoxic activity of natural killer cells. Their immunomodulatory features, together with their tissue-trophic properties, make MSCs good candidates to treat autoimmune disorders (ADs). Different preclinical models of ADs clearly demonstrate the beneficial effects of MSCs on injured tissues by inhibiting immune inflammation and promoting tissue repair through trophic and anti-apoptotic mechanisms. Although these results pave the way toward the design of clinical trials with MSCs in AD patients, studies published so far are few in number. However, it appears from these studies that administration of MSCs is safe and feasible.

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