Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Arthritis Research & Therapy and BioMed Central.

Open Badges Editorial

Mesenchymal stem cells in arthritis: role of bone marrow microenvironment

Christian Jorgensen

Author Affiliations

Inserm, U844, Montpellier F-34091, France

Université Montpellier 1, UFR de Médecine, Montpellier F-34000, France

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2010, 12:135  doi:10.1186/ar3105

See related research article by Mohanty et al.,

Published: 23 August 2010


Based on their capacity to suppress immune responses, multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are intensively studied for regenerative medicine. Moreover, MSCs are potent immunomodulatory cells that occur through the secretion of soluble mediators including nitric oxide, transforming growth factor beta, and HLAG5. The MSCs, however, are also able to express inflammatory mediators such as prostaglandin E2 or IL-6. MSCs in the bone marrow are in close contact with T cells and B cells, and they regulate immunological memory by organizing defined numbers of dedicated survival niches for plasma cells and memory T cells in the bone marrow. The role of MSCs in arthritis remains controversial - in some studies, murine allogeneic MSCs are able to decrease arthritis; in other studies, MSCs worsen the local inflammation. A recent paper in Arthritis Research and Therapy shows that bone marrow MSCs have decreased osteoblastic potential in rheumatoid arthritis, which may be related to chronic inflammation or to loss of expression of IL-1 receptor agonist. That article raises the importance of the bone marrow microenvironment for MSC biology.