(BEIJING) -- Researchers at China's Peking University may have found new hope for people who suffer from Rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Experiments have shown that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from umbilical cord blood can suppress inflammation. The research, described in BioMed Central's open access journal, Arthritis Research and Therapy, has been done in vitro and on animals.
Experts say there is very little known about MSCs but they are believed to exert profound immunosuppression. That could mean they are very beneficial for those with autoimmune diseases such as RA.
Researchers at Peking University took immune cells from RA patients and found that the umbilical MSCs were able to suppress the cells' growth, invasive behavior and inflammatory responses. The doctors say because RA places such a burden on health care systems nationwide and causes so much pain for patients, a dramatic new treatment could mean major improvements in dealing with the disease.
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