Potential of mesenchymal stem cells as immune therapy in solid-organ transplantation


Meindert J. Crop MD, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, Room Ee 563a, PO Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 (0)10 703 5421; fax: +31 (0)10 704 4718;
e-mail: m.crop@erasmusmc.nl


Over the last decade, there has been a rising interest in the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for clinical applications. This interest stems from the beneficial properties of MSCs, which include multi-lineage differentiation and immunosuppressive ability, suggesting there is a role for MSC therapy for tissue regeneration and in immunologic disease. Despite recent clinical trials investigating the use of MSCs in treating immune-mediated disease, their applicability in solid-organ transplantation is still unknown. In this review, we identified topics that are important when considering MSC therapy in clinical organ transplantation. Whereas, from other clinical studies, it would appear that administration of MSCs is safe, issues like dosing, timing, route of administration, and in particular the use of autologous or donor-derived MSCs may be of crucial importance for the functional outcome of MSCs treatment in organ transplantation. We discuss these topics and assess the feasibility of MSCs therapy in organ transplantation.