TGF-β and mesenchymal stromal cells in regenerative medicine, autoimmunity and cancer

Cytokine Growth Factor Rev. 2018 Oct:43:25-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cytogfr.2018.06.002. Epub 2018 Jun 13.


Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) represent a promising cell-based therapy in regenerative medicine and for the treatment of inflammatory/autoimmune diseases. Importantly, MSCs have emerged as an important contributor to the tumor stroma with both pro- and anti-tumorigenic effects. However, the successful translation of MSCs to the clinic and the prevention of their tumorigenic and metastatic effect require a greater understanding of factors controlling their proliferation, differentiation, migration and immunomodulation in vitro and in vivo. The transforming growth factor(TGF)-β1, 2 and 3 are involved in almost every aspect of MSC function. The aim of this review is to highlight the roles that TGF-β play in the biology and therapeutic applications of MSCs. We will discuss the how TGF-β modulate MSC function as well as the paracrine effects of MSC-derived TGF-β on other cell types in the context of tissue regeneration, immune responses and cancer. Finally, taking all these aspects into consideration we discuss how modulation of TGF-β signaling/production in MSCs could be of clinical interest.

Keywords: Cancer; Cell therapy; Differentiation; Immunomodulation; Mesenchymal stem cells; TGF-beta.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neoplasms* / metabolism
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Regenerative Medicine
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / physiology*


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta