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Open Access Transplantation of Allogeneic and Xenogeneic Placenta-Derived Cells Reduces Bleomycin-Induced Lung Fibrosis

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Fetal membranes (amnion and chorion) have recently raised significant attention as potential sources of stem cells. We have recently demonstrated that cells derived from human term placenta show stem cell phenotype, high plasticity, and display low immunogenicity both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, placenta-derived cells, after xenotransplantation, are able to engraft in solid organs including the lung. On these bases, we studied the effects of fetal membrane-derived cells on a mouse model of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis. Fetal membrane-derived cells were infused 15 min after intratracheal bleomycin instillation. Different delivery routes were used: intraperitoneal or intratracheal for both xenogeneic and allogeneic cells, and intravenous for allogeneic cells. The effects of the transplanted cells on bleomycin-induced inflammatory and fibrotic processes were then scored and compared between transplanted and control animals at different time points. By PCR and immunohistochemistry analyses, we demonstrated the presence of transplanted cells 3, 7, 9, and 14 days after transplantation. Concomitantly, we observed a clear decrease in neutrophil infiltration and a significant reduction in the severity of bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis in mice treated with placenta-derived cells, irrespective of the source (allogeneic or xenogeneic) or delivery route. Our findings constitute further evidence in support of the hypothesis that placenta-derived cells could be useful for clinical application, and warrant further studies toward the use of these cells for the repair of tissue damage associated with inflammatory and fibrotic degeneration.

Keywords: Amnion; Cell transplantation; Fetal membrane-derived cells; Inflammation; Lung fibrosis; Placenta

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Centro di Ricerca E. Menni, Fondazione Poliambulanza-Istituto Ospedaliero, 25124 Brescia, Italy

Publication date: 2009-04-01

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.
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