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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2013, Article ID 265608, 10 pages
Review Article

Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Immune-Mediated Bone Marrow Failure Syndromes

Department of Haematology, University of Crete School of Medicine, 70013 Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Received 12 October 2013; Accepted 22 November 2013

Academic Editor: Senthamil R. Selvan

Copyright © 2013 Maria-Christina Kastrinaki et al. 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.


Immune-mediated bone marrow failure syndromes (BMFS) are characterized by ineffective marrow haemopoiesis and subsequent peripheral cytopenias. Ineffective haemopoiesis is the result of a complex marrow deregulation including genetic, epigenetic, and immune-mediated alterations in haemopoietic stem/progenitor cells, as well as abnormal haemopoietic-to-stromal cell interactions, with abnormal release of haemopoietic growth factors, chemokines, and inhibitors. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) and their progeny (i.e., osteoblasts, adipocytes, and reticular cells) are considered as key cellular components of the bone marrow haemopoietic niche. MSCs may interfere with haemopoietic as well as immune regulation. Evidence suggests that bone marrow MSCs may be involved in immune-mediated BMFS underlying pathophysiology, harboring either native abnormalities and/or secondary defects, caused by exposure to activated marrow components. This review summarizes previous as well as more recent information related to the biologic/functional characteristics of bone marrow MSCs in myelodysplastic syndromes, acquired aplastic anemia, and chronic idiopathic neutropenia.