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Stem Cells International
Volume 2013, Article ID 353097, 16 pages
Review Article

Immunomodulatory Effects of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Revisited in the Context of Inflammatory Cardiomyopathy

1Berlin-Brandenburg Center for Regenerative Therapies, Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Campus Virchow Clinic, Südstrabe 2, 13353 Berlin, Germany
2Institute of Medical Immunology, Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Campus Virchow Clinic, Südstrabe 2, 13353 Berlin, Germany
3Department of Cardiology and Pneumology, Charité, University Medicine Berlin, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Hindenburgdamm 30, 12203 Berlin, Germany
4DZHK, Deutsches Zentrum für Herz-Kreislauf-Forschung, Berlin, Germany

Received 18 December 2012; Accepted 13 May 2013

Academic Editor: Bruno Peault

Copyright © 2013 Kapka Miteva 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.


Myocarditis is a common inflammatory cardiomyopathy, associated with cardiomyocyte apoptosis, which can lead to chronic left ventricular dysfunction. Under conventional heart failure therapy, inflammatory cardiomyopathy typically has a progressive course, indicating a need for alternative therapeutic strategies to improve long-term outcomes. Experimental and clinical studies consistently support the application of cellular transplantation as a strategy to improve myocardial function. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) mediate distinct paracrine effects supporting endogenous regeneration, but most important are their remarkable immunoregulatory properties. In this review, an overview of current knowledge on immunopathology in myocarditis will be given. Furthermore, current research regarding the immunomodulatory properties of MSCs in the context of myocarditis will be discussed. Finally, the impact of MSC priming by the environment on their functionality and the advantages of systemic administration of MSCs under myocarditis are outlined.