Mesenchymal stem cells to treat liver diseases

Ann Transl Med. 2020 Apr;8(8):563. doi: 10.21037/atm.2020.02.163.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are being developed for stem cell therapy and can be efficiently used in regenerative medicine. To date, more than 1,000 clinical trials have used MSCs; of these, more than 80 clinical trials have targeted liver disease. MSCs migrate to damaged liver tissues, differentiate into hepatocytes, reduce liver inflammatory responses, reduce liver fibrosis, and act as antioxidants. According to the reported literature, MSCs are safe, have no side effects, and improve liver function; however, their regenerative therapeutic effects are unsatisfactory. Here, we explain, in detail, the basic therapeutic effects and recent clinical advances of MSCs. Furthermore, we discuss future research directions for improving the regenerative therapeutic effects of MSCs.

Keywords: Cell therapy; liver disease; mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs); regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Review