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Mesenchymal stem cell therapy of intestinal disease: are their effects systemic or localized *

Purpose of review

Stem cell therapy for intestinal diseases is an emerging area in clinical gastroenterology. We will review recent literature regarding mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which have been utilized in preclinical models and are now headed for clinical trials in several gastrointestinal diseases including inflammatory bowel disease.

Recent findings

Important studies over the last 2 years have made significant inroads into understanding the mechanisms of action of these cell types. The two major competing hypotheses are that MSCs home to areas of injury where they repair based on their stem cell activity or that MSCs act as a source of secreted factors that stimulate repair and inhibit inflammation.

Summary

Mesenchymal stem cells show promise for therapy in a number of intestinal diseases. Further understanding of their mechanism of action should improve our ability to use them therapeutically.

URL: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3896124/

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

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Published on 10-08-2014