Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Purpose of review Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are adult stromal cells with therapeutic potential in allogeneic islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes patients. The process of islet isolation alone has been shown to negatively impact islet survival and function in vivo. In addition, insults mediated by the instant bloodmediated inflammatory reaction, hypoxia, ischemia and immune response significantly impact the islet allograft post transplantation. MSCs are known to exert cytoprotective and immune modulatory properties and thus are an attractive therapeutic in this context. Herein, the recent progress in the field of MSC therapy in islet transplantation is discussed. Recent findings MSC can promote islet survival and function in vivo. Importantly, studies have shown that human MSC donors have differential abilities in promoting islet regeneration/survival. Recently, several biomarkers associated with MSC islet regenerative capacity have been identified. Expressions of Annexin A1, Elastin microfibril interface 1 and integrin-linked protein kinase are upregulated in MSC displaying protective effects on islet survival and function in vivo. Summary The discovery of biomarkers associated with MSC therapeutic efficacy represents an important step forward for the utilization of MSC therapy in islet transplantation; however, much remains to be elucidated about the mechanisms utilized by MSC in protection against transplanted islet loss, autoimmune-mediated and alloimmune-mediated rejection.