Mesenchymal stem cells in primary Sjögren’s syndrome: Prospective and challenges

Weiqian Chen, Ye Yu, Jilin Ma, Nancy Olsen, Jin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is a chronic systemic inflammatory autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltrates in exocrine glands. Current approaches do not control harmful autoimmune attacks or prevent irreversible damage and have considerable side effects. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been effective in the treatment of several autoimmune diseases. The objective of this review is to illustrate the potential therapeutic role of MSCs in pSS. We summarize the recent advances in what is known about their immunomodulatory function and therapeutic applications in pSS. MSC transfusion can suppress autoimmunity and restore salivary gland secretory function in mouse models and patients with pSS by inducing regulatory T cells, suppressing Th1, Th17, and T follicular helper cell responses. In addition, MSCs can differentiate into salivary epithelial cells, presenting an option as a suitable alternative treatment. We also discuss current bioengineering methods which improve functions of MSCs for pSS. However, there remain many challenges to overcome before their wide clinical application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4357865
JournalStem Cells International
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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