Nav: Home

Stem cells from placental amniotic membrane slow lung scarring in pulmonary fibrosis

May 26, 2020

Durham, NC - In a study released today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), a team led by researchers at the Eugenia Menni Research Centre (CREM) in Brescia, Italy, show for the first time how stem cells collected from human amniotic membrane (one of the two fetal membranes forming the amniotic sac, which surrounds the fetus during pregnancy and is generally discarded after a baby's birth) can slow the progression of scarring in pulmonary fibrosis. This pre-clinical study could lead to new treatments for this deadly disease.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by scarring of the lung tissue. Over time, the scarring (fibrosis) worsens until the lungs cannot take in enough oxygen, affecting the person's quality of life and eventually leading to death. Worldwide, IPF affects 13 to 20 out of every 100,000 people, according to the National Institutes of Health. While current medications (and in some instances, a lung transplant) can extend a patient's life beyond the three to five years previously predicted from time of diagnosis until death, there is no cure.

The cause of IPF is unknown, although many medical experts believe that it likely results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Growing evidence also suggests a link between inflammation and the development and progression of the lung's scarring. That information prompted the current study published in SCTM, according to Anna Cargnoni, Ph.D., who led the investigation under the supervision of CREM's director, Professor Ornella Parolini, Ph.D.

"Mesenchymal stromal cells derived from human amniotic membrane (hAMSCs) display a marked ability to affect the body's immune system," she explained. "They have been shown to reduce lung fibrosis in mice, possibly by creating a microenvironment that limits the evolution of chronic inflammation which leads to scarring. However, the ability of hAMSCs to modulate the immune cells - and specifically B cells- involved in pulmonary inflammation has yet to be clearly described. That's what we sought to do in our study."

The team conducted their study on mice, beginning by inducing lung scarring with the drug bleomycin, which intra-tracheally instilled produces injury to the alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs) and a consequent lung fibrosis. They then injected one group of animals with freshly isolated hAMSCs and another group with hAMSCs expanded in vitro, to address the important question of how in vitro expansion affects the hAMSCs' therapeutic capabilities. A third group of animals, the control group, was treated with the saline solution used to inject hAMSCs but without the cells.

In order to explore whether treatment with hAMSCs may affect the immune cells that bleomycin-induced injury recruit into the lungs, the immune cells were collected at four, seven, nine and 14 days after treatment, from the alveolar spaces of the animals of treated and control groups. The animals' immune cells were identified and quantified by a technique called flow cytometry. Lung tissues were also collected at the same times and analyzed for gene expression of markers associated with different immune cell types.

"We found that both the freshly collected and the expanded hAMSCs were able to control the recruitment, retention and maturation of B cells in the diseased lungs. This is important because in IPF patients, B cells form pulmonary aggregates with T cells, and continuously activate T cells creating a self-maintaining inflammatory condition.

"By modulating the B cells, the hAMSCs were able to break this loop and, thus, help blunt the progression of lung inflammation and, consequently, scarring, too," Dr. Cargnoni explained. "We believe these key insights into the therapeutic potential of hAMSCs provide further evidence for the potential clinical use of hAMSCs in treating IPF and other inflammation-related fibrotic diseases."

"This pre-clinical study demonstrates that stem cells derived from the amniotic fluid have the ability to hamper inflammation and slow scarring in lung tissue." said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. "These cells could eventually be used for new treatments of a deadly lung disease for which there is still no known cause or cure."
-end-
The full article, "Amniotic MSCs reduce pulmonary fibrosis by hampering lung B-cell recruitment, retention, and maturation," can be accessed at https://stemcellsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/sctm.20-0068.

About STEM CELLS Translational Medicine: STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), co-published by AlphaMed Press and Wiley, is a monthly peer-reviewed publication dedicated to significantly advancing the clinical utilization of stem cell molecular and cellular biology. By bridging stem cell research and clinical trials, SCTM will help move applications of these critical investigations closer to accepted best practices. SCTM is the official journal partner of Regenerative Medicine Foundation.

About AlphaMed Press: Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, publishes two other internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS® (http://www.StemCells.com), celebrating its 38th year, is the world's first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® (http://www.TheOncologist.com), also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, entering its 25th year, is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. All three journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines.

About Wiley: Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions, help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company's website can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.

About Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF): The non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF pursues its mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit, honouring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards, and promoting educational initiatives.

AlphaMed Press

Related Immune Cells Articles:

How tumor cells evade the immune defense
Scientists are increasingly trying to use the body's own immune system to fight cancer.
How immune cells activate the killer mode
Freiburg researchers find missing link in immune response.
Breast cancer cells can reprogram immune cells to assist in metastasis
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigators report they have uncovered a new mechanism by which invasive breast cancer cells evade the immune system to metastasize, or spread, to other areas of the body.
Breast cancer cells turn killer immune cells into allies
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have discovered that breast cancer cells can alter the function of immune cells known as Natural killer (NK) cells so that instead of killing the cancer cells, they facilitate their spread to other parts of the body.
Engineered immune cells recognize, attack human and mouse solid-tumor cancer cells
CAR-T therapy has been used successfully in patients with blood cancers such as lymphoma and leukemia.
Mapping immune cells in brain tumors
It is not always possible to completely remove malignant brain tumors by surgery so that further treatment is necessary.
Nutrient deficiency in tumor cells attracts cells that suppress the immune system
A study led by IDIBELL researchers and published this week in the American journal PNAS shows that, by depriving tumor cells of glucose, they release a large number of signaling molecules.
Experience matters for immune cells
The discovery that immune T cells have a spectrum of responsiveness could shed light on how our immune system responds to infections and cancer, and what goes wrong in immune diseases.
Immune cells against Alzheimer's?
German researchers have developed a novel, experimental approach against Alzheimer's.
Arming the body's immune cells
Researchers at UC have discovered a previously unknown mechanism that could explain the reason behind decreased immune function in cancer patients and could be a new therapeutic target for immunotherapy for those with head and neck cancers.
More Immune Cells News and Immune Cells Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Debbie Millman: Designing Our Lives
From prehistoric cave art to today's social media feeds, to design is to be human. This hour, designer Debbie Millman guides us through a world made and remade–and helps us design our own paths.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#574 State of the Heart
This week we focus on heart disease, heart failure, what blood pressure is and why it's bad when it's high. Host Rachelle Saunders talks with physician, clinical researcher, and writer Haider Warraich about his book "State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science, and Future of Cardiac Disease" and the ails of our hearts.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Insomnia Line
Coronasomnia is a not-so-surprising side-effect of the global pandemic. More and more of us are having trouble falling asleep. We wanted to find a way to get inside that nighttime world, to see why people are awake and what they are thinking about. So what'd Radiolab decide to do?  Open up the phone lines and talk to you. We created an insomnia hotline and on this week's experimental episode, we stayed up all night, taking hundreds of calls, spilling secrets, and at long last, watching the sunrise peek through.   This episode was produced by Lulu Miller with Rachael Cusick, Tracie Hunte, Tobin Low, Sarah Qari, Molly Webster, Pat Walters, Shima Oliaee, and Jonny Moens. Want more Radiolab in your life? Sign up for our newsletter! We share our latest favorites: articles, tv shows, funny Youtube videos, chocolate chip cookie recipes, and more. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at Radiolab.org/donate.