PLoS One 2013 1;8(8):e69299. Epub 2013 Aug 1.
School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia and Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.
Lung diseases are a major cause of global morbidity and mortality that are treated with limited efficacy. Recently stem cell therapies have been shown to effectively treat animal models of lung disease. However, there are limitations to the translation of these cell therapies to clinical disease. Studies have shown that delayed treatment of animal models does not improve outcomes and that the models do not reflect the repeated injury that is present in most lung diseases. We tested the efficacy of amnion mesenchymal stem cells (AM-MSC), bone marrow MSC (BM-MSC) and human amniotic epithelial cells (hAEC) in C57BL/6 mice using a repeat dose bleomycin-induced model of lung injury that better reflects the repeat injury seen in lung diseases. The dual bleomycin dose led to significantly higher levels of inflammation and fibrosis in the mouse lung compared to a single bleomycin dose. Intravenously infused stem cells were present in the lung in similar numbers at days 7 and 21 post cell injection. In addition, stem cell injection resulted in a significant decrease in inflammatory cell infiltrate and a reduction in IL-1 (AM-MSC), IL-6 (AM-MSC, BM-MSC, hAEC) and TNF-α (AM-MSC). The only trophic factor tested that increased following stem cell injection was IL-1RA (AM-MSC). IL-1RA levels may be modulated by GM-CSF produced by AM-MSC. Furthermore, only AM-MSC reduced collagen deposition and increased MMP-9 activity in the lung although there was a reduction of the pro-fibrogenic cytokine TGF-β following BM-MSC, AM-MSC and hAEC treatment. Therefore, AM-MSC may be more effective in reducing injury following delayed injection in the setting of repeated lung injury.