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Open Access Autologous Lung-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation in Experimental Emphysema

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Autologous lung-derived mesenchymal stem cells (LMSCs) were transplanted endoscopically into sheep with experimental emphysema to assess their capacity to regenerate functional tissue. LMSC lines were derived from transbronchial biopsies, cloned at passage 2, expanded in culture, and labeled. A delivery scaffold containing 1% fibrinogen, 20 μg/ml of fibronectin, and 20 μg/ml of poly-L-lysine was used to promote cell attachment and spreading. Treatment animals received scaffold containing 5‐10 × 106 cells/site; control animals received scaffold alone. Phenotypic markers, differentiation capacity, extracellular matrix protein expression, and paracrine function of LMSCs were characterized in vitro. Responses to LMSC transplantation in vivo were assessed in terms of clinical toxicity, lung physiology, change in tissue mass (measured by CT scanning) and perfusion (measured by scintigraphy scanning), and tissue histology. At 4-week follow-up, transplants were well tolerated and associated with increased tissue mass and lung perfusion compared to control treatment. Histology confirmed cell retention, increased cellularity, and increased extracellular matrix content following LMSC treatment. Labeled cells were distributed in the alveolar septum and peribronchiolar interstitium. Some label was also present within phagocytes, indicating that a fraction of autologous LMSCs do not survive transplantation. These results suggest that endobronchial delivery of autologous LMSCs has potential therapeutic utility for regenerating functional lung in emphysema.

Keywords: Cell engraftment; Cell therapy; Mesenchymal stem cells

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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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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