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Curr Stem Cell Res Ther. 2019;14(1):14-21. doi: 10.2174/1574888X13666180912125736.

Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and Natural Killer Cells: A Complex Story of Love and Hate.

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Osteoarthritis Research Unit, University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM), and Department of Medicine, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.
Laboratory of Physiology, Ethnopharmacology and Genetics, Faculty of Sciences, University Mohammed Premier, Oujda, Morocco.
Laboratory of Experimental Hematology, Institut Jules Bordet, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, 121 Boulevard de Waterloo, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Laboratory of Cancer Biology and Molecular Immunology, Faculty of Sciences I, Lebanese University, Hadath, Lebanon.
Hematology Department, Institut Jules Bordet, Universite Libre de Bruxelles, 121 Boulevard de Waterloo, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium.
Laboratory of Clinical Cell Therapy, Institut Jules Bordet, Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Campus Erasme, Brussels, Belgium.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs), characterized by both multidifferentiation potential and potent immunomodulatory capacity, represent a promising, safe and powerful cell based-therapy for repairing tissue damage and/or treating diseases associated with aberrant immune responses. Natural killer (NK) cells are granular lymphocytes of the innate immune system that function alone or in combination with other immune cells to combat both tumors and virally infected cells. After their infusion, MSCs are guided by host inflammatory elements and can interact with different immune cells, particularly those of the innate immune system. Although some breakthroughs have been achieved in understanding these interactions, much remains to be determined. In this review, we discuss the complex interactions between NK cells and MSCs, particularly the importance of improving the therapeutic value of MSCs.


Mesenchymal stromal cells; cellular cytotoxicity; cytokines; immunomodulation; natural killer cells; natural killer receptors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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