Washington, Aug 12 (ANI): Researchers have found more evidence to prove that bone marrow stem cells could be used to treat acute lung injury in patients.
Drs. Michael A. Matthay and Jae W. Lee and their colleagues at the Cardiovascular Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco conducted the study.
"We found that these stem cells secreted a significant quantity of a protein that restored the barrier that keeps fluid and other elements out of the lungs," said Lee.
The team is focussing on mesenchymal stem cells, which have the ability to differentiate into cells, which develop into tissues throughout the body when mature.
Acute lung injury is caused by pneumonia and sepsis. It can worsen into acute respiratory distress syndrome, and results in insufficient oxygenation of blood and eventual organ failure.
Lungs contain tiny groups of cells called alveoli, which are lined with a layer of epithelial cells that serve as a critical barrier. The barrier serves to maintain gas balance inside.
The team decided to re-create the unhealthy lung conditions in the lab.
"We then introduced mesenchymal stem cells without direct cell contact, and they churned out a lot of protein, called angiopoietin-1, which prevented the increase in lung epithelial permeability after the inflammatory injury," said Xiaohui Fang.
The team hopes that clinical trials will prove the therapy is a viable one for preventing respiratory failure in critically ill patients.
The study is published in a Journal of Biological Chemistry. (ANI)