Mesenchymal stem cells as a treatment for multiple sclerosis: a focus on experimental animal studies

Rev Neurosci. 2020 Jan 28;31(2):161-179. doi: 10.1515/revneuro-2019-0040.


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive and debilitating neurological condition in which the immune system abnormally attacks the myelin sheath insulating the nerves. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are found in most adult tissues and play a significant systemic role in self-repair. MSCs have promising therapeutic effects in many diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, including MS. MSCs have been tested in MS animal models, such as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Other studies have combined other agents with MSCs, genetically modified MSCs, or used culture medium from MSCs. In this review, we will summarize these studies and compare the main factors in each study, such as the source of MSCs, the type of animal model, the route of injection, the number of injected cells, and the mechanism of action.

Keywords: EAE; immunomodulation; mesenchymal stem cells; multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / immunology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Autoimmune, Experimental / therapy
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation* / methods
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Myelin Sheath / pathology*