Mesenchymal stromal cell therapy for liver diseases

J Hepatol. 2018 Jun;68(6):1272-1285. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.01.030. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


The therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) in the treatment of liver fibrosis is predominantly based on their immunosuppressive properties, and their ability to secrete various trophic factors. This potential has been investigated in clinical and preclinical studies. Although the therapeutic mechanisms of MSC transplantation are still not fully characterised, accumulating evidence has revealed that various trophic factors secreted by MSCs play key therapeutic roles in regeneration by alleviating inflammation, apoptosis, and fibrosis as well as stimulating angiogenesis and tissue regeneration in damaged liver. In this review, we summarise the safety, efficacy, potential transplantation routes and therapeutic effects of MSCs in patients with liver fibrosis. We also discuss some of the key strategies to enhance the functionality of MSCs, which include sorting and/or priming with factors such as cytokines, as well as genetic engineering.

Keywords: Enrichment; Genetic engineering; Liver disease; Mesenchymal stromal cell; Priming.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Gene Editing
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / pathology
  • Liver Diseases / physiopathology
  • Liver Diseases / therapy*
  • Liver Regeneration
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation* / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / immunology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology