Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Placenta-derived Stem Cells May Help Sufferers Of Lung Diseases

This research study caught my attention because I contracted idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) and nothing could be done to slow down or reverse the progression of the disease and loss of lung tissue and eventual organ failure. Now, there may be some hope for the future if this stem cell research proves to have a role in the treatment of lung diseases.

Authors: Cargnoni, Anna1; Gibelli, Lucia; Tosini, Alessandra; Signoroni, Patrizia Bonassi; Nassuato, Claudia; Arienti, Davide; Lombardi, Guerino; Albertini, Alberto; Wengler, Georg S.; Parolini, Ornella
Source: Cell Transplantation, Volume 18, Number 4, 2009 , pp. 405-422(18)
Publisher: Cognizant Communication Corporation


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.
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