To achieve this, it would be desirable to obtain cell types, whether genetically modified or naturally occurring, having a high migratory ability in addition to homing ability into the afflicted parts of intestine. These cells should also have high in vivo survival potential, and then be able to regulate the immune reaction without provoking any response from the host’s immune system and repair the injured tissue. Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) therapies are being investigated as a treatment for IBDs. MSC therapy is well tolerated and has minimal established side-effects compared to HSC therapy, which involves ablative chemotherapy. Several clinical studies using MSCs have been initiated and some early results suggest several inherent problems. In each study, optimization of MSC therapy appears to be the most urgent problem, which can be resolved only by scientifically unveiling the mechanisms of therapeutic action of stem cells. In this review, we summarize current therapies for IBDs and recent advances in the field of stem cell therapy, which offer promise to become the next generation treatment of choice.
Keywords: intestinal epithelium, ablative chemotherapy, hematopoietic stem cells, long-term remission, immunosuppressive antibodies