Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have unique characteristics such immune suppression by inhibiting T cell proliferation, tissue-repair ability and acceleration of hemopoietic stem cell engraftment. The cells are rare in bone marrow, but easily cultured under standard culture conditions. Soluble factors and cells are implicated in the MSC-mediated T cell suppression and numerous clinical trials using MSCs to prevent and treat graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) have been reported. MSCs are suggested to suppress acute GVHD without impairing graft-versus-leukemia effects and increasing systemic infections. In this review, we focus on basic aspects of MSC-mediated T cell suppression and clinical trials using MSCs for GVHD and related conditions.
2010 by The Japanese Society for Lymphoreticular Tissue Research