Mesenchymal stem cell therapy for liver fibrosis

Young Woo Eom, Kwang Yong Shim, Soon Koo Baik

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

161 Citations (Scopus)


Currently, the most effective treatment for end-stage liver fibrosis is liver transplantation; however, transplantation is limited by a shortage of donor organs, surgical complications, immunological rejection, and high medical costs. Recently, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy has been suggested as an effective alternate approach for the treatment of hepatic diseases. MSCs have the potential to differentiate into hepatocytes, and therapeutic value exists in their immune-modulatory properties and secretion of trophic factors, such as growth factors and cytokines. In addition, MSCs can suppress inflammatory responses, reduce hepatocyte apoptosis, increase hepatocyte regeneration, regress liver fibrosis and enhance liver functionality. Despite these advantages, issues remain; MSCs also have fibrogenic potential and the capacity to promote tumor cell growth and oncogenicity. This paper summarizes the properties of MSCs for regenerative medicine and their therapeutic mechanisms and clinical application in the treatment of liver fibrosis. We also present several outstanding risks, including their fibrogenic potential and their capacity to promote pre-existing tumor cell growth and oncogenicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)580-589
Number of pages10
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 The Korean Association of Internal Medicine.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine


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