Mesenchymal stromal cells have the potential to become a revolutionary treatment for acute respiratory syndrome, an animal study has shown, but there are many challenges in translating the findings to clinical practice, editorialists say.
The study by researchers from the University of Toronto found that rodents with Escherichia coli induced lung injury who were treated with human bone-marrow derived MSCs had improved lung injury compared to those treated with saline or fibroblasts.
The MSC treated animals also had lower rates of alveolar neutrophil infiltration and higher levels of IL-10, demonstrating the immunomodulatory properties of hMSCs.
“Crucially, this study also found that hMSCs act to reduce the bacterial burden and enhance the function of macrophages,” said an accompanying editorial co-written by intensivist John Fraser from The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane.
However there were many challenges in clinical translation, such as delivering a consistent cell product in a scalable manner, the editorialists said.
“Patients with the most severe ARDS requiring ECMO may represent a group in which this promising therapy can provide important benefits,” they concluded.