Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a rare, heterogeneous autoimmune and autoinflammatory disease that affects both sexes and all races, although this disease exhibits its highest incidence/prevalence among the black population and shows a predilection for women of reproductive age. Although SLE has no cure, treatment can help decrease its signs and symptoms. Thus, we should focus primarily on personalized treatment. Mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), which are multipotent cells capable of differentiating into osteoblasts, chondrocytes, adipocytes, and myoblasts, among other cell types, are potential candidates for use in a promising strategy to treat severe and refractory SLE. MSCs have an immunomodulatory function that can suppress the proliferation and activities of many immune cells, such as T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, natural killer cells, macrophages and dendritic cells. Substantial progress has recently been made in MSC therapy, and experimental and clinical data suggest that such a therapy is a promising strategy for the treatment of severe and refractory SLE. In this review, we highlight the effects of MSCs on different immune cell types, describe the mechanisms underlying MSC-mediated immunoregulation, and discuss the treatment of SLE with MSCs from different sources in various animal models and clinical applications.
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