Role of mesenchymal stromal cells for the treatment of RA

Stem cell therapy has shown promising results in the treatment of arthritis, with the positive outcomes mainly attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of mesenchymal stem cells. The ability of mesenchymal stem cells to modulate the immune system has made stem cell treatment increasingly popular as a therapeutic option for individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). A recent ten-year concise review published in Molecular Biology Reports emphasized the safety and effectiveness of mesenchymal stromal cells derived from the bone marrow for the treatment of RA.

Dr. Arshad and his team conducted a comprehensive review encompassing preclinical and clinical studies spanning the past ten years, focusing on the therapy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) using mesenchymal stromal cells. The study summarized the most relevant information regarding the advancements in utilizing these stromal cells for the treatment of RA. Apart from the potential of mesenchymal stem cells to regulate the immune system, these cells can suppress the proliferation and activation of T cells, B cells, and dendritic cells, the key players in the pathogenesis of RA. They can also modulate the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNF-α and IL-6, while promoting the release of anti-inflammatory molecules like IL-10 and TGF-β. These immunomodulatory effects contribute to the suppression of chronic inflammation and the restoration of immune balance in RA patients. They also promote tissue repair and regeneration, and can differentiate into chondrocytes, enabling them to repair damaged joint tissues in RA. 

The comprehensive review conducted by Dr. Arshad and his team highlights the significant advancements made in utilizing mesenchymal stromal cells for the therapy of rheumatoid arthritis. The immunomodulatory effects and tissue regenerative potential of these cells provide a promising avenue for the development of innovative and effective treatment strategies for RA.


  1. Arshad M, Jalil F, Jaleel H, Ghafoor F. Bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells therapy for rheumatoid arthritis-a concise review of past ten years. Molecular Biology Reports. 2023 May;50(5):4619-29.
  2. Luque-Campos N, Contreras-López RA, Jose Paredes-Martínez M, Torres MJ, Bahraoui S, Wei M, Espinoza F, Djouad F, Elizondo-Vega RJ, Luz-Crawford P. Mesenchymal stem cells improve rheumatoid arthritis progression by controlling memory T cell response. Frontiers in immunology. 2019 Apr 16;10:798.