SymbolMesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

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Studies have demonstrated that bone marrow or adipose tissue derived mesenchymal stem cells have immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties to have a broad application prospect in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.


To focus on the biological features of mesenchymal stem cells, especially immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties, and to review the progress of mesenchymal stem cells in rheumatoid arthritis.


Foreign Medical Journal Full-Text Service and China National Knowledge Infrastructure databases were searched for articles concerning rheumatoid arthritis, culture and application of mesenchymal stem cells to rheumatoid arthritis published from 2005 to 2011. The key words were “marrow stem cells, rheumatoid arthritis, immunosuppressive” in Chinese and English. Repetitive articles were excluded. Finally, 24 articles were further summarized.


Mesenchymal stem cells appear as major regulatory cells in skeletal tissue homeostasis, controlling inflammation, immune response, fibrosis and tissue regeneration, but the efficacy and security of mesenchymal stem cells in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis still need further studies.

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