May 16, 2011

Stem Cells Save the Day

(Ivanhoe Newswire) -- New-fangled research examines the therapeutic use of human stem cells from bone marrow against acute lung injury and identifies TNF-a-induced protein 6 as a foremost molecular component of stem cell action.

Acute lung injury is a chief complication of critically ill patients resulting in pulmonary edema, hypoxia and, in the worst cases, organ failure.  Accordingly, up to 40 percent of all sufferers die for the reason that their bodies' immune systems overreact in an attempt to repair the original lung damage.

Researchers based in Louisiana illustrated that therapy with human multipotent stromal cells (hMSC) isolated from bone marrow was able to considerably decrease acute lung injury in mice after 48 hours.  At 24 hours the therapy could be seen to be working, reducing the amount of pulmonary edema and protein in the lungs.  While injury augmented the number of white blood cells (neutrophils) ten fold, this could ultimately be reduced by treatment with hMSC.

When the researchers looked in more detail, they established that hMSC treatment reduced more than half of the inflammatory proteins tested, including IL-1a, Il-1ß, IL-6 and RANTES.  hMSC treatment furthermore increased the amount of the anti-inflammatory proteins TNF-a-induced protein 6 (TSG6) and Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RN).

"Our research reveals an important mechanism behind the anti-inflammatory activity of stem cells in lung injury because blocking the activity of TSG6 using siRNA prevented most of the anti-inflammatory effects of hMSC, which Dr. Sullivan, from the Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine, was quoted as saying.

"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.  Understanding the mechanisms by which hMSC dampen inflammation will likely provide strategies to improve the therapeutic potential of hMSCs for treatment of lung injury.  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."

SOURCE: Stem Cell Research & Therapy.  May 12, 2011