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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2011, Article ID 427863, 17 pages
Review Article

Clinical Application of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the Treatment and Prevention of Graft-versus-Host Disease

Division of Hematology, Department of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, 200 1st Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905, USA

Received 1 August 2011; Accepted 18 October 2011

Academic Editor: Helen Dimitriou

Copyright © 2011 Yi Lin and William J. Hogan. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) represent a heterogeneous population of stromal cells with pluripotent mesenchymal differentiation potential. They have been found to have immunosuppressive properties and the ability to modulate angiogenesis and endogenous tissue repair by in vitro and animal studies. Clinical trials have examined the utility of these cells in autoimmune and inflammatory conditions. In particular, in allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT), multiple studies have been conducted to explore the use of MSC to treat acute and chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and for cotransplantation with HSCT to promote HSC engraftment and prevent GVHD. We review here the results of these studies and discuss some challenges of this treatment modality in this disease setting.