Human mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) have capabilities for multi-differentiation, immunomodulation, and hematopoietic support. Based on these unique biological characteristics, human MSCs have been extensively used as a transplantable resource for cell therapy in regenerative medicine, immune diseases, and hematological diseases. One of the most promising therapeutic effects of human MSCs is in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Off-the-shelf MSC products are approved by regulatory agencies in some countries. In Japan, hematologists may soon have the option to use these products for the treatment of intractable acute GVHD. This review provides a brief overview of human MSCs including their fundamental characteristics, their clinical applications, and perspectives.
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