Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Multiple Sclerosis: Current Perspectives

Biomedicines. 2019 Mar 30;7(2):26. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines7020026.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory and neurodegenerative autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). Disease-modifying therapies (DMT) targeting inflammation have been shown to reduce disease activity in patients with relapsing⁻remitting MS (RRMS). The current therapeutic challenge is to find an effective treatment to halt disease progression and reverse established neural damage. Stem cell-based therapies have emerged to address this dilemma. Several types of stem cells have been considered for clinical use, such as autologous hematopoietic (aHSC), mesenchymal (MSC), neuronal (NSC), human embryonic (hESC), and induced pluripotent (iPSC) stem cells. There is convincing evidence that immunoablation followed by hematopoietic therapy (aHSCT) has a high efficacy for suppressing inflammatory MS activity and improving neurological disability in patients with RRMS. In addition, MSC therapy may be a safe and tolerable treatment, but its clinical value is still under evaluation. Various studies have shown early promising results with other cellular therapies for CNS repair and decreasing inflammation. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge and limitations of different stem cell-based therapies for the treatment of patients with MS.

Keywords: autologous hematopoietic; human embryonic; induced pluripotent; mesenchymal; multiple sclerosis; neuronal; stem cells.

Publication types

  • Review