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Stem cells in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jaap Van Laar


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Autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) resulted in a positive short-term outcome clinically with low treatment-related toxicity. However, early conditioning regimens were of low immunoablative intensity and most patients relapsed. Mechanistic studies suggest that residual lesional effector cells may have been responsible for the relapses. The introduction of biopharmaceuticals has, for the moment, reduced the need for further experimental studies. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients, mostly of the systemic subgroup, have shown nearly 33% durable drug-free remission, but with significant toxicity, including fatal macrophage-activation syndrome early in the programme. Later modifications to the protocol have reduced this toxicity. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), derived from several sources including bone marrow and adipose tissue, are being tested as tissue-regenerative and immunomodulating agents in many autoimmune diseases and animal models of inflammatory arthritis have been positive. MSCs and other stromal cells derived from actively inflamed synovium and peripheral blood of RA patients do not always demonstrate a full range of differentiation potential compared with healthy MSCs, although their immunomodulalatory capacity is unimpaired. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tyndall A, Van Laar J

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Best Practice and Research: Clinical Rheumatology

Year: 2010

Volume: 24

Issue: 4

Pages: 565-574

Print publication date: 21/08/2010

ISSN (electronic): 1521-6942


DOI: 10.1016/j.berh.2010.01.008