Modulation of bone marrow stromal cell functions in infectious diseases by toll-like receptor ligands
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Bone marrow-derived stromal cells (BMSCs, or as they are frequently referred to as mesenchymal stem cells) have been long known to support hematopoiesis and to regenerate bone, cartilage, and adipose tissue. In the last decade, however, a vast amount of data surfaced in the literature to suggest new roles for these cells including tissue regeneration and immunomodulation. A great number of review articles appeared that summarize these new data and focus on different aspects of the physiology of these cells. In this present short review, we will try to summarize the available data based on both mouse and human cells describing how the function of BMSCs might be affected by an infectious environment. These data strongly support the idea that different toll-like receptor ligands can lead to substantial changes in the function of BMSCs that affect their proliferation, apoptosis, migration, and their production and release of immunomodulatory factors.