Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are under consideration for the treatment of autoimmune disease (AD) based on their in vitro antiproliferative properties, efficacy in animal models, apparent low acute toxicity, and the early positive anecdotal outcomes in human acute graft versus host disease. Phase I/II clinical trials are under way in multiple sclerosis and Crohn’s disease, and are being planned in systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, systemic vasculitis, and other AD. Open issues include: patient selection, disease stage and activity, MSC source and expansion, and long-term safety. Multidisciplinary groups including EULAR are collaborating to ensure maximal use of available resources to establish the place, if any, of MSC in the treatment of AD.

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