Stem Cells for Lupus

Occurs when the immune system becomes overactive, forming antibodies that attack healthy tissues and organs, producing chronic inflammation.

What is it?

Systemic lupus erythematosus is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory connective tissue disease that affects the joints, kidneys, skin, mucous membranes and blood vessel walls.

Physicians suspect lupus based primarily on the person’s symptoms during a thorough clinical examination, especially in the case of a young woman. Various laboratory tests are indicated to help confirm the diagnosis.

Flares may be triggered by sun exposure, infections, surgical procedures or pregnancy, but the cause is unknown.

Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms vary widely from person to person. They may begin suddenly with fever or appear gradually over months or years with episodes of fever, feeling unwell, or any of the following:

  • joint pain
  • redness of the nose and cheeks
  • chest pain
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • headache
  • abdominal discomfort


Lupus erythematosus is difficult to diagnose. The diagnosis is based on the symptoms reported by the patient, physical examination and blood tests.

In blood tests it is frequent that the number of leukocytes, lymphocytes and platelets is lower than normal.

Practically 100% of patients have antinuclear antibodies; when they are negative the existence of this disease is practically excluded.

There are other autoantibodies more specific to lupus, such as the so-called anti-DNA or anti-Sm antibodies, whose presence allows the diagnosis to be confirmed. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies also helps to diagnose lupus.


Some patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus make deposits of antibodies inside the glomeruli (kidney cells ) which leads to lupus nephritis whose symptoms are:

  • Blood in the urine
  • Foamy urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of any area of the body

Lupus nephritis in some cases progresses to chronic renal failure and may recur in a transplanted kidney.

Other possible complications that can occur in lupus include:

  • Hemolytic anemia (destruction of red blood cells).
  • Epileptic seizures
  • Infection
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart)
  • Serositis: pleural or pericardial effusions (fluid around the lungs or heart)
  • Thrombocytopenia (extremely low platelets in the blood)
  • Pulmonary hypertension

Stem Cells

In LUPUS, immune cells contribute to the production of proinflammatory factors and pathogenic autoantibodies, causing multiple organ damage.  Immunosuppressive therapies fail to prevent disease relapse and high-dose treatment may even increase the risk of severe infection and death.

MSCs have an immunomodulatory function that can suppress the proliferation and activities of many immune cells and thus exert beneficial effects in autoimmune diseases. 

MSC transplantation effectively improves patients’ clinical symptoms, reduces disease severity, decreases proteinuria and autoantibody levels, and reverses multi-organ damage, and has no side effects.