Tolerance strategies for stem-cell-based therapies

Nature. 2008 May 15;453(7193):330-7. doi: 10.1038/nature07041.


There is much interest in using embryonic stem cells to regenerate tissues and organs. For this approach to succeed, these stem cells or their derivatives must engraft in patients over the long term. Unless a cell transplant is derived from the patient's own cells, however, the cells will be targeted for rejection by the immune system. Although standard methods for suppressing the immune system achieve some success, rejection of the transplant is inevitable. Emerging approaches to address this issue include 're-educating' the immune system to induce tolerance to foreign cells and reducing the immune targeting of the transplant by administering 'self stem cells' instead of foreign cells, but each of these approaches has associated challenges.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Graft Rejection / immunology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance / immunology*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cells / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Tissue Donors