Bone marrow stem cells may cure acute lung injury

A new research has revealed that human stem cells derived from bone marrow significantly reduce acute lung injury. It identifies TNF-a-induced protein 6 as a major molecular component of stem cell action.

Acute lung injury is a major complication of critically ill patients resulting in pulmonary edema, hypoxia and in worst cases, organ failure.

According to researchers from the Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, therapy with human multipotent stromal cells (hMSC) isolated from bone marrow was able to significantly reduce acute lung injury in mice after 48 hours.

At 24 hours, the therapy could be seen working, reducing the amount of pulmonary edema and protein in the lungs. While injury increased the number of white blood cells (neutrophils) ten fold, this could be reduced by treatment with hMSC.

On further examination, researchers found that hMSC treatment reduced over half of the inflammatory proteins tested, including IL-1a, Il-1ß, IL-6 and Rantes.

hMSC treatment was also seen to increase the amount of anti-inflammatory proteins, TNF-a-induced protein 6 (TSG6) and Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN).

“Stem cell therapy shows great promise in the treatment of acute and life threatening conditions, such as acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome,” said Dr Sullivan.

“Since it is a simple procedure to collect stem cells from bone marrow, we hope that our research paves the way forward into clinical trials,” he added.

The study has been published in BioMed Central”s open access journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy.

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