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A team of researchers in Australia have shown that epithelial cells taken from human amnion fluid (hAECs) are therapeutic when transplanted into laboratory mice with lung disease.
"Respiratory disease is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality," said corresponding author Dr. Euan M. Wallace, director of The Ritchie Centre, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Monash Medical Centre. "There is an urgent need for cell-based therapies to treat respiratory diseases, and the use of cells isolated from human term placenta for regenerative medicine holds great promise."
Recent research has shown that stem cells derived from the human placenta are multipotent (have an ability to become many types of cell tissue), have a low ability to induce an immune response, and have an anti-inflammatory function. The researchers aimed to find out which hAECs help to repair pulmonary fibrosis and to determine if they improved lung function in mouse models of lung injury.
The researchers injected hAECs into the animals' chest cavity to see if the cells would migrate to the lung, engraft, and form functional lung.
"We found that hAECs prevented a decline in pulmonary function," said Dr. Wallace. "However, we were unable to detect any significant engraftment of hAECs in injured or uninjured lung after administration."
According to Dr. Julio Voltarelli, professor of Clinical Medicine and Clinical Immunology at the University of Sao Pãulo, Brazil, and section editor for Cell Transplantation, the versatility of human amniotic fluid derived stem cells is a relatively untapped resource which these studies suggest should be exploited.
"It will be interesting to determine how useful they can be in other animal models of disease and disorders and ultimately whether they have any clinical applications," he said.
Citation: Murphy, S.; Lim, R.; Dickinson, H.; Acharya, R.; Rosli, S.; Jenkin, G.; Wallace, E. Human Amnion Epithelial Cells Prevent Bleomycin-Induced Lung Injury And Preserve Lung Function. Cell Transplant. 20(6):909-923; 2011.
The editorial offices for CELL TRANSPLANTATION are at the Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair, College of Medicine, the University of South Florida and the Diabetes Research Institute, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Contact, David Eve, PhD. at email@example.com or Camillo Ricordi, MD at firstname.lastname@example.org
Original article: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/ctco-scd082411.php