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Stem Cells International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 340257, 26 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/340257
Review Article

Management of Fibrosis: The Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Breakthrough

Radioprotection and Human Health Division, Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, PRP-HOM/SRBE/LR2I, 92260 Fontenay-aux-Roses, France

Received 28 March 2014; Revised 5 June 2014; Accepted 5 June 2014; Published 14 July 2014

Academic Editor: Katherine Athayde Teixeira de Carvalho

Copyright © 2014 Benoît Usunier 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.

Abstract

Fibrosis is the endpoint of many chronic inflammatory diseases and is defined by an abnormal accumulation of extracellular matrix components. Despite its slow progression, it leads to organ malfunction. Fibrosis can affect almost any tissue. Due to its high frequency, in particular in the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, many studies have been conducted to find satisfactory treatments. Despite these efforts, current fibrosis management therapies either are insufficiently effective or induce severe adverse effects. In the light of these facts, innovative experimental therapies are being investigated. Among these, cell therapy is regarded as one of the best candidates. In particular, mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have great potential in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. The value of their immunomodulatory effects and their ability to act on profibrotic factors such as oxidative stress, hypoxia, and the transforming growth factor-β1 pathway has already been highlighted in preclinical and clinical studies. Furthermore, their propensity to act depending on the microenvironment surrounding them enhances their curative properties. In this paper, we review a large range of studies addressing the use of MSCs in the treatment of fibrotic diseases. The results reported here suggest that MSCs have antifibrotic potential for several organs.