Stem cell therapy can potentially reduce lung damage caused by chronic inflammation in conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cystic fibrosis, research from a pre-clinical trial has revealed.
In the study, the researchers investigated the effectiveness of Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy in a mouse model of chronic inflammatory lung disease, which can lead to reduced lung function and eventually respiratory failure.
The results showed that inflammation was significantly reduced in the group receiving MSC therapy.
"The preliminary findings demonstrate the potential effectiveness of MSC treatment as a means of repairing the damage caused by chronic lung diseases such as COPD," said Declan Doherty from Queens University Belfast in Britain.
The study was presented at the European Respiratory Society's Lung Science Conference in Portugal.
Further, the cell counts for both monocytic cells and neutrophils — both signs of inflammation — were significantly reduced after MSC therapy.
Analysis of lung tissue revealed reduction in inflammation in the lung and significant improvements in lung structure, suggesting that this form of treatment has the potential to repair the damaged lung, the researchers said.
"The ability to counteract inflammation in the lungs by utilising the combined anti-inflammatory and reparative properties of MSCs could potentially reduce the inflammatory response in individuals with chronic lung disease whilst also restoring lung function in these patients," Doherty added.
Mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy is currently being investigated as a promising therapeutic approach for a number of incurable, degenerative lung diseases.