Mesenchymal stem cell transplantation is an emerging therapy for treating chronic liver diseases. The potential of this treatment has been evaluated in preclinical and clinical studies. Although the mechanisms of mesenchymal stem cell transplantation are still not completely understood, accumulating evidence has revealed that their immunomodulation, differentiation, and antifibrotic properties play a crucial role in liver regeneration. The safety and therapeutic effects of mesenchymal stem cells in patients with chronic liver disease have been observed in many clinical studies. However, only modest improvements have been seen, partly because of the limited feasibility of transplanted cells at present. Here, we discuss several strategies targeted at improving viable cell engraftment and the potential challenges in the use of extracellular vesicle-based therapies for liver disease in the future.
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