For citation purposes: Li Z, He C, Xiao J, Chen ZY. Treating end-stage liver diseases with mesenchymal stem cells: An oak is not felled at one stroke. OA Tissue Engineering 2013 Apr 01;1(1):3.


Regenerative Medicine

Treating end-stage liver diseases with mesenchymal stem cells: an oak is not felled at one stroke

Z Li, C He, J Xiao, ZY Chen

Authors affiliations

(1) Centre for Gene and Cell Engineering, Shenzhen Institute of Advanced Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenzhen 518055, China

(2) Department of Immunobiology, Jinan University, Guangzhou 510632, China

*Corresponding author Email:;



Currently, orthotropic liver transplantation is the only effective therapy for end-stage liver diseases, including acute liver failure, cirrhosis and liver cancer. However, the shortage of donor liver severely limits its application. The advent of the technology of turning mesenchymal stem cells from adult tissues into liver cells has opened the possibility of obtaining transplantable hepatocytes without donor livers and raised much interest in the field of hepatology. In this review, we summarized recent advances in using mesenchymal stem cells as a therapeutic strategy for treating liver diseases.


For the acute liver failure, many studies have demonstrated promising results. However, for the treatment of cirrhosis and liver cancer, the results do vary. Therefore, further studies are warranted before considering mesenchymal stem cells for active use in clinical applications.

Licensee OA Publishing London 2013. Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY)