Cell-based therapy for acute organ injury: preclinical evidence and ongoing clinical trials using mesenchymal stem cells

Anesthesiology. 2014 Nov;121(5):1099-121. doi: 10.1097/ALN.0000000000000446.


Critically ill patients often suffer from multiple organ failures involving lung, kidney, liver, or brain. Genomic, proteomic, and metabolomic approaches highlight common injury mechanisms leading to acute organ failure. This underlines the need to focus on therapeutic strategies affecting multiple injury pathways. The use of adult stem cells such as mesenchymal stem or stromal cells (MSC) may represent a promising new therapeutic approach as increasing evidence shows that MSC can exert protective effects following injury through the release of promitotic, antiapoptotic, antiinflammatory, and immunomodulatory soluble factors. Furthermore, they can mitigate metabolomic and oxidative stress imbalance. In this work, the authors review the biological capabilities of MSC and the results of clinical trials using MSC as therapy in acute organ injuries. Although preliminary results are encouraging, more studies concerning safety and efficacy of MSC therapy are needed to determine their optimal clinical use. (ANESTHESIOLOGY 2014; 121:1099-121).

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Critical Illness / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology
  • Multiple Organ Failure / prevention & control
  • Multiple Organ Failure / therapy
  • Multiple Trauma / therapy*