Lupus is an autoimmune disorder that affects many different systems of the body and frequently causes a predominant redish rash across the nose and cheeks. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a common and potentially fatal autoimmune disease characterized by autoantibodies associated with multiorgan injury, affecting the skin, muscles, joints, kidneys, heart and nervous system. Although disease severity and organ involvement of Lupus varies significantly among SLE patients, conventional medicine has very little to offer.
Conventional immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory therapy, such as steroids, cyclophosphamide (CYC), and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), can control disease symptoms in many, but not all, patients with lupus. There is a subset of lupus patients whose disease either does not respond or relapses despite continuing chemotherapy, and their prognosis remains poor. In addition, progressive immunosuppressive therapy may lead to the development of serious infection, cumulative drug toxicity, and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and malignancy.
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been widely studied for their ability to differentiate into multiple different tissue types, including, skin, cartilage, kidney, heart and nerve tissue. An important function of MSCs for autoimmune diseases is their corrective immunomodulating effect on various activated lymphoid cells, such as T cells and B cells. These important characteristics are some of the key benefits of using MSCs for therapeutic applications in autoimmune diseases, including Lupus.