Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells in immune-mediated diseases

Adam Eljarrah, Marina Gergues, Piotr W. Pobiarzyn, Oleta A. Sandiford, Pranela Rameshwar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that can self-renew and differentiate into cells of all germ layers. MSCs can be easily attracted to the site of tissue insult with high levels of inflammatory mediators. The general ability of MSCs to migrate at the sites of tissue injury suggested an innate ability for these cells to be involved in baseline tissue repair. The bone marrow is one of the primary sources of MSCs, though they can be ubiquitous. An attractive property of MSCs for clinical application is their ability to cross allogeneic barrier. However, alone, MSCs are not immune suppressive cells. Rather, they can be licensed by the tissue microenvironment to become immune suppressor cells. Immune suppressor functions of MSCs include those that blunt cytotoxicity of natural killer cells, suppression of T-cell proliferation, and “veto” function. MSCs, as third-party cells, suppress the immune response that generally recapitulates graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) responses. Based on the plastic functions of MSCs, these cells have dominated the field of cell-based therapies, such as anti-inflammatory and drug delivery. Here, we focus on the potential use of MSC for immunological disorders such as Crohn’s disease and GvHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Number of pages16
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
ISSN (Print)0065-2598
ISSN (Electronic)2214-8019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


  • Cell therapy
  • Drug delivery
  • Graft-versus-host response
  • Immune response
  • Mesenchymal stem cells; Cytokines

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  • Cite this

    Eljarrah, A., Gergues, M., Pobiarzyn, P. W., Sandiford, O. A., & Rameshwar, P. (2019). Therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells in immune-mediated diseases. In Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology (pp. 93-108). (Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology; Vol. 1201). Springer.