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Open Access Human Amnion Epithelial Cells Do Not Abrogate Pulmonary Fibrosis in Mice With Impaired Macrophage Function

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Since current treatments for both acute and chronic lung diseases are less than ideal, there has been recent interest in the use of cell-based therapies for inflammatory lung disease. Specifically, human amnion epithelial cells (hAECs) have been shown to reduce bleomycin-induced lung injury and prevent subsequent loss of respiratory function, primarily through modulation of the host immune response. The precise mechanisms of this effect remain unclear. We aimed to investigate the potential of hAECs to mitigate bleomycin-induced lung injury in surfactant protein C deficient (Sftpc−/− ) mice, which are highly susceptible to pulmonary injury as a result of impairment of macrophage function. Primary hAECs were administered to wild-type (Sftpc+/+ ) and Sftpc−/− mice 24 h after exposure to bleomycin. Compared to Sftpc+/+ mice receiving bleomycin alone, Sftpc+/+ mice administered hAECs 24 h after bleomycin exposure had decreased expression of proinflammatory genes, decreased macrophage and neutrophil infiltration, fibrosis, collagen content, and α-smooth muscle actin as well as a significant improvement in lung function. Compared to Sftpc−/− mice given bleomycin alone, Sftpc−/− mice administered hAECs 24 h after bleomycin did not have a decrease in inflammatory gene expression or a reduction in macrophage pulmonary infiltration. Subsequently, Sftpc−/− mice did not show any decrease in pulmonary fibrosis or improvement of lung function after hAEC administration. The ability of hAECs to mitigate bleomycin-induced lung injury is abolished in Sftpc−/− mice, suggesting that hAECs require normal host macrophage function to exert their reparative effects.

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Keywords: Amnion epithelial cells; Bleomycin; Fibrosis; Inflammation; Macrophage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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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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