Redirecting adult mesenchymal stromal cells to the brain: a new approach for treating CNS autoimmunity and neuroinflammation?

Jasmine J. Wilson, Kerrie L. Foyle, Jade Foeng, Todd Norton, Duncan R. McKenzie, Natalie Payne, Claude C. Bernard, Shaun R. McColl, Iain Comerford

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stromal cells or stem cells (MSCs) have been shown to participate in tissue repair and are immunomodulatory in neuropathological settings. Given this, their potential use in developing a new generation of personalized therapies for autoimmune and inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) will be explored. To effectively exert these effector functions, MSCs must first gain entry into damaged neural tissues, a process that has been demonstrated to be a limiting factor in their therapeutic efficacy. In this review, we discuss approaches to maximize the therapeutic efficacy of MSCs by altering their intrinsic trafficking programs to effectively enter neuropathological sites. To this end, we explore the significant role of chemokine receptors and adhesion molecules in directing cellular traffic to the inflamed CNS and the capacity of MSCs to adopt these molecular mechanisms to gain entry to this site. We postulate that understanding and exploiting these migratory mechanisms may be key to the development of cell-based therapies tailored to respond to the migratory cues unique to the nature and stage of progression of individual CNS disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-357
Number of pages11
JournalImmunology and cell biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell migration
  • central nervous system
  • chemokine receptor
  • mesenchymal stem cell
  • mesenchymal stromal cell
  • neuroinflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology

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