Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are stem cell populations present among the bone marrow stroma and a number of other tissues that are capable of multi-lineage differentiation into mesoderm-type cells such as osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondrocytes. MSC provide supportive stroma for growth and differentiation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and hematopoiesis. These cells have been described as important immunoregulators due to their ability to suppress T cells proliferation. MSC can also directly contribute to tissue repair by migrating to sites of injury and providing a source of cells for differentiation and/or providing bystander support for resident stromal cells. This chapter discusses the cellular and molecular properties of MSC, the mechanisms by which they can modulate immune responses and the clinical applications of MSC in disorders such as graft-versus-host disease and aplastic anaemia. The role of MSC in the treatment of autoimmune disorders as well as their potential in the arena of tissue repair and a view of what the future clinical applications of MSC might be is outlined in this chapter.
Tissue and Cell Clinical Use: an Essential Guide, 2012, p. 332-357