Cellular and molecular interactions of mesenchymal stem cells in innate immunity

Grazia Maria Spaggiari, Lorenzo Moretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In recent years, human mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSC) have attracted major attention for their possible clinical applications. In addition to their tissue regenerative capacity, they display immune-modulatory properties for which they have been used in the treatment of acute graft-versus-host disease and autoimmune diseases. Various studies have analyzed the inhibitory effect exerted by MSC on cells belonging to acquired or to innate immunity. In this context, MSC have been shown to inhibit proliferation and function of natural killer (NK) cells and to hinder the generation of dendritic cells and macrophages, thus interfering with inflammatory processes and with the generation of type I immune responses. In addition, MSC promote the differentiation of regulatory cells and participate in the regeneration of tissues damaged as a consequence of the inflammatory process. Different molecular mechanisms are involved in the immunosuppressive effect. Further investigation on the biology of MSC and on the regulatory events involved in their functional activities can help to optimize their use in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-31
Number of pages5
JournalImmunology and Cell Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • dendritic cells
  • immumodulation
  • macrophages
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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