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Roles for MSCs in Disease Resolution

Although mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) offer enormous potential in the treatment of diseases associated with an aberrant immune system, the lack of information regarding the precise mechanism of action currently hampers the development of efficient and reproducible immune therapies. Now, a new study led by Andreas Robert Rudolf Weiss (Trinity College Dublin, St. James's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland) demonstrates that MSCs carry out their therapeutic functions through two different mechanisms that differentially contribute to disease resolution – an intact MSC cell metabolism contributes to T‐cell suppression while MSC structure passively enables monocyte recognition, phagocytosis, and selective apoptosis. Overall, this STEM CELLS study highlights the importance of tailoring MSC treatments to different disease types, rather than utilizing MSC therapy as a “one size fit all” solution.