Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(5):893-903. doi:10.7150/ijbs.39725

Review

Mesenchymal stromal cells promote liver regeneration through regulation of immune cells

Chenxia Hu, Zhongwen Wu, Lanjuan Li

Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, PR China

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Citation:
Hu C, Wu Z, Li L. Mesenchymal stromal cells promote liver regeneration through regulation of immune cells. Int J Biol Sci 2020; 16(5):893-903. doi:10.7150/ijbs.39725. Available from http://www.ijbs.com/v16p0893.htm

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Abstract

The liver is sensitive to pathogen-induced acute or chronic liver injury, and liver transplantation (LT) is the only effective strategy for end-stage liver diseases. However, the clinical application is limited by a shortage of liver organs, immunological rejection and high cost. Mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC)-based therapy has gradually become a hot topic for promoting liver regeneration and repairing liver injury in various liver diseases, since MSCs are reported to migrate toward injured tissues, undergo hepatogenic differentiation, inhibit inflammatory factor release and enhance the proliferation of liver cells in vivo. MSCs exert immunoregulatory effects through cell-cell contact and the secretion of anti-inflammatory factors to inhibit liver inflammation and promote liver regeneration. In addition, MSCs are reported to effectively inhibit the activation of cells of the innate immune system, including macrophages, natural killer (NK) cells, dendritic cells (DCs), monocytes and other immune cells, and inhibit the activation of cells of the adaptive immune system, including T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes and subsets of T cells or B cells. In the current review, we mainly focus on the potential effects and mechanisms of MSCs in inhibiting the activation of immune cells to attenuate liver injury in models or patients with acute liver failure (ALF), nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and liver fibrosis and in patients or models after LT. We highlight that MSC transplantation may replace general therapies for eliminating acute or chronic liver injury in the near future.

Keywords: liver transplantation, mesenchymal stromal cell, liver regeneration, immunoregulation, anti-inflammation