Immunomodulatory effects of mesenchymal stromal cells in solid organ transplantation

Federica Casiraghi, Marina Noris, Giuseppe Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of Review: Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) possess powerful immunomodulatory activity highlighting the potential for their clinical translation in solid organ transplantation. In this review, we summarize recent advances in understanding MSC immunomodulatory effect in vitro and in experimental transplant models and discuss topics of crucial importance for the future clinical use of MSCs as immunotherapy in solid organ transplantation. Recent Findings: MSCs strongly inhibited T-cell activity in vitro and exerted similar inhibitory effects on other cells of the immune system. MSC-mediated immune suppression has been attributed mainly to the secretion of soluble factors; however, cell-contact mechanisms cannot be excluded. Available studies in animal transplant models raised variable results, but overall indicate that MSCs could be useful to modulate recipient immune cells. The timing of cell application and the origin of MSCs (autologous or allogeneic) seem to be the most crucial factors impacting the in-vivo efficacy of MSCs. Summary: A better understanding of the mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory effects of MSCs in vitro and in vivo is needed to define the optimal condition for the use of MSCs as immunotherapy in solid organ transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • immunomodulation
  • mesenchymal stromal cells
  • solid organ transplantation
  • T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


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