Stem cell therapy is a promising strategy in promoting cardiac repair in the setting of ischemic heart disease. Clinical and preclinical studies have shown that cell therapy improves cardiac function. Whether autologous or allogeneic cells should be used, and the need for immunosuppression in non-autologous settings, is a matter of debate. Cyclosporin A (CsA) is frequently used in preclinical trials to reduce cell rejection after non-autologous cell therapy. The direct effect of CsA on the function and survival of stem cells is unclear. Furthermore, the appropriate daily dosage of CsA in animal models has not been established. In this review, we discuss the pros and cons of the use of CsA on an array of stem cells both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we present a small collection of data put forth by our group supporting the efficacy and safety of a specific daily CsA dosage in a pig model. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.