Mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells to improve solid organ transplant outcome: Lessons from the initial clinical trials

Antonello Pileggi, Xiumin Xu, Jianming Tan, Camillo Ricordi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Purpose of review: Discuss the recent progress on the clinical use of mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSC) in solid organ transplantation (SOT). Recent findings: Tissue repair and immunomodulatory properties have been recognized for MSC obtained from different human tissues. MSC-based therapy has been proposed to reduce ischemia-reperfusion injury and to promote immune tolerance. The results of recent clinical trial support the safety and promising effects of autologous and allogeneic MSC in SOT. Collectively, the use of MSC in recipients of living donor kidney transplantation was associated with improved graft function, reduced rejection, ability to omit induction and/or lower maintenance immunosuppression regimen, as well as to treat rejection episodes. Summary: We are living in very exciting times with the implementation of novel clinical trials aimed at establishing safety, feasibility and efficacy of cellular therapies including MSC to improve SOT outcomes. The results of the initial clinical trials support the safety of MSC-based therapy and justifying cautious optimism for the immediate future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)672-681
Number of pages10
JournalCurrent Opinion in Organ Transplantation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Acute cellular rejection
  • Adipose tissue
  • Bone marrow
  • Clinical trial
  • Immunosuppression
  • Ischemia/reperfusion injury
  • Living-donor kidney transplantation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Opportunistic infections
  • Solid organ transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation


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