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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2014, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (3): 147-155.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(14)60022-4

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Advances in mesenchymal stem cells combined with traditional Chinese medicine therapy for liver fibrosis

Shu Dong, Shi-bing Su   

  1. Research Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine Complexity System, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
  • Received:2013-12-18 Accepted:2014-02-28 Online:2014-05-10 Published:2014-05-15

Liver fibrosis is a primary cause of liver cirrhosis, and even hepatocarcinoma. Recently, the usage of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has been investigated to improve liver fibrosis. It has been reported that the differentiation, proliferation and migration of MSCs can be regulated by traditional Chinese medicine treatment; however, the mechanisms are still unclear. In this article, the authors review the characteristics of MSCs such as multidirectional differentiation and homing, and its application in animal experiments and clinical trials. The authors also list areas that need further investigation, and look at the future prospects of clinical application of MSCs.

Key words: Mesenchymal stem cells, Liver fibrosis, Liver cirrhosis, Medicine, Chinese traditional, Therapy, Reviews

Figure 1

Literature summary of TCM on MSCs researchA: Trend of TCM research on MSCs. B: Main aspects of TCM research on MSCs. The publications on MSCs study in PubMed databases from 2004 to November, 2013. All results were screened manually with the MeSH terms “marrow mesenchymal stem cells” combined with “traditional Chinese medicine”. MSCs: marrow mesenchymal stem cells; TCM: traditional Chinese medicine."

Figure 2

Main mechanisms of cell therapy with MSCs MSCs are induced to differentiate into hepatocytes under the mediation of HGF and other cytokines. Then, MSCs migrate to sites of injured liver tissue and repair liver fibrosis through several different pathways. MSCs: mesenchymal stem cells; HGF: hepatocyte growth factor; FGF4: fibroblast growth factor 4; EGF: epidermal growth factor; OSM: oncostatin M; AFGF: acidic fibroblast growth factor; VCAM-1: vascular cell adhesion molecule-1; MMP: matrix metalloproteinase; HSCs: hepatic stellate cells."

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