Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been intensively studied and applied in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Recently, their immune modulation functions make them as attractive potential approaches for autoimmune disease treatment. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is one type of chronic autoimmune diseases with multi-organ damaged by the immune system. Although current available treatments are effective for some patients, others are refractory for these therapies. The immuno-modulatory and regenerative characteristics of MSCs make them as one promising candidate for treating SLE. Thus, we would discuss their immune modulation effects, pre-clinical and clinical applications, and the potentials for immune tolerance re-establishment in SLE here.
Keywords: Autoimmune diseases; MSCs; Mesenchymal stem cells; SLE; Systemic lupus erythematosus.