A new study, appearing in Cell Stem Cell and led by researchers at the University of Southern California, outlines the specifics of how autoimmune disorders can be controlled by infusions of mesenchymal stem cells (the same stem cells found in teeth).
What stem cells to use?:
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) found in places like bone marrow and teeth, are highly versatile stem cells.
Recent studies have shown the benefits of administering MSC to patients with immune-related disorders such as graft versus host disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.
These studies showed that infusions of MSC appeared to quell the production and function of overactive immune cells, including T- and B-lymphocytes. However, the specific mechanism behind how MSC get the immune cells under control hasn’t been fully understood.
The identification of the cellular workings responsible for the stem cell treatments’ success may eventually help doctors find optimal cell-based treatment for some immune diseases.
Basic research portions of this study were supported by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Clinical studies were supported by a grant from the China Major International (Regional) Joint Research Project.