Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an inflammatory disease with protean manifestations, ranging from relatively minor skin and joint symptoms to severe life-threatening major organ involvement, such as nephritis and neuropsychiatric complications. It is characterised by the presence of auto reactive T and B lymphocytes. One of the most significant clinical features of SLE is lupus nephritis, which affects >50% of patients and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Conventional immunosuppressive therapy, such as glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamide, can control disease in most, but not all, patients with lupus nephritis. In the last decade, Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) transplantation has been reported as a promising therapy to achieve treatment-free, long-term remission. An important function of MSCs for autoimmune diseases is their immunomodulatory effect on various activated lymphoid cells, such as T cells, B cells and natural killer cells. MSCs directly suppress activated T cell proliferation in an antigen-independent and dose-dependent manner. These characteristics support the promising use of MSCs for therapeutic applications to achieve treatment-free, long-term remission.