Potential of mesenchymal stem cells as immune therapy in solid-organ transplantation

Transpl Int. 2009 Apr;22(4):365-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2008.00786.x. Epub 2008 Nov 1.


Over the last decade, there has been a rising interest in the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for clinical applications. This interest stems from the beneficial properties of MSCs, which include multi-lineage differentiation and immunosuppressive ability, suggesting there is a role for MSC therapy for tissue regeneration and in immunologic disease. Despite recent clinical trials investigating the use of MSCs in treating immune-mediated disease, their applicability in solid-organ transplantation is still unknown. In this review, we identified topics that are important when considering MSC therapy in clinical organ transplantation. Whereas, from other clinical studies, it would appear that administration of MSCs is safe, issues like dosing, timing, route of administration, and in particular the use of autologous or donor-derived MSCs may be of crucial importance for the functional outcome of MSCs treatment in organ transplantation. We discuss these topics and assess the feasibility of MSCs therapy in organ transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host vs Graft Reaction*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression / methods*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Organ Transplantation*