Stem cell therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. How far is it to the clinic?

Am J Stem Cells



Am J Stem Cells 2018;7(3) /ISSN:2160-4150/AJSC0074017

Nurdan Kokturk1, Fatma Yıldırım2, Pınar Yıldız Gülhan3, Yeon Mok Oh4



Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a respiratory disease that has a major impact worldwide. The currently-available drugs mainly focus on relieving the symptoms of COPD patients. However, in the latter stages of the disease, the airways become largely obstructed and lung parenchyma becomes destructed due to underlying inflammation. The inappropriate repair of lung tissue after injury may contribute to the development of disease. Novel regenerative therapeutic approaches have been investigated with the aim of repairing or replacing the injured functional structures of the respiratory system. Endogenous and exogenous sources of stem cells are available for the treatment of many diseases. Stem cell therapy is newly introduced to the field of COPD. Currently the research is in its infancy; however, the field is profoundly growing. Previous studies suggest that cell-based therapies and novel bioengineering approaches may be potential therapeutic strategies for lung repair and remodelling. In this paper, we review the current evidence of stem cell therapy in COPD.



Until now there has not been described a cura-tive therapy for COPD with current medications. Stem cell based therapies that have been successfully applied to other diseases are a new approach for COPD and degenerative lungdiseases treatment. Stem cells may deliversome signals to host cells, inducing a regenera-tive mechanism against alveolar destruction in the COPD lung. MSCs are now known to have potent beneficial effects in animal models of many types of lung injury including cigarette smoke-induced or elastase-induced COPD/ emphysema, bleomycine-induced fibrosis, bro- nchopulmonary dysplasia, ventilator-induced lung injury, and bacterial pneumonia. Mesen- chymal stem cells (MSCs) effectively reduce airway inflammation and regenerate the alveo-lus in cigarette- and elastase-induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Stem cells also effects the regenerative genes [74, 75]. COPD still is a threat worldwide and there is a need to develop more effective therapeutic strategies. Stem cell based therapies may be the key for the future.


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