Mesenchymal stem cells as anti-inflammatories: Implications for treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Thomas E. Ichim, Doru T. Alexandrescu, Fabio Solano, Fabian Lara, Rosalia De Necochea Campion, Eugenia Paris, Erik J. Woods, Michael P. Murphy, Constantin A. Dasanu, Amit N. Patel, Annette M. Marleau, Alejandro Leal, Neil H. Riordan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal X-linked musculodegenerative condition consisting of an underlying genetic defect whose manifestation is augmented by inflammatory mechanisms. Previous treatment approaches using gene replacement, exon-skipping or allogeneic cell therapy have been relatively unsuccessful. The only intervention to mediate improvement in survival, albeit minor, is glucocorticoid treatment. Given this modality appears to function via suppression of underlying inflammation; we focus this review on the inflammatory response as a target for mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy. In contrast to other cell based therapies attempted in DMD, MSC have the advantages of (a) ability to fuse with and genetically complement dystrophic muscle; (b) possess anti-inflammatory activities; and (c) produce trophic factors that may augment activity of endogenous repair cells. We conclude by describing one practical scenario of stem cell therapy for DMD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-82
Number of pages8
JournalCellular Immunology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


  • Cord blood stem cells
  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Endometrial regenerative cells
  • Immune modulation
  • Inflammation
  • Mesenchymal stem cells
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cell therapy
  • T regulatory cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

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