Stem Cell Treatment for Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD are now available at ASCI
Pulmonary fibrosis is the formation or development of excess fibrous connective tissue (fibrosis) in the lungs. It is also described as "scarring of the lung."
Pulmonary fibrosis is suggested by a history of progressive shortness of breath (dyspnea) with exertion. Sometimes fine inspiratory crackles can be heard at the lung bases on auscultation. A chest x-ray may or may not be abnormal, but high Resolution CT will frequently demonstrate abnormalities.
Symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis are mainly:
- Shortness of breath, particularly with exertion
- Chronic dry, hacking coughing
- Fatigue and weakness
- Chest discomfort
- Loss of appetite and rapid weight loss
Pulmonary fibrosis may be a secondary effect of other diseases. Most of these are classified as interstitial lung diseases. Examples include autoimmune disorders, viral infections or other microscopic injuries to the lung. However, pulmonary fibrosis can also appear without any known cause. In this case, it is termed "idiopathic". Most idiopathic cases are diagnosed as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. This is a diagnosis of exclusion of a characteristic set of histologic/pathologic features known as usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP). In either case, there is a growing body of evidence which points to a genetic predisposition in a subset of patients. For example, a mutation in Surfactant protein C (SP-C) has been found to exist in some families with a history of pulmonary fibrosis.
Diseases and conditions that may cause pulmonary fibrosis as a secondary effect include:
- Inhalation of environmental and occupational pollutants, such as in asbestosis, silicosis and exposure to certain gases. Coal miners, ship workers and sand blasters among others are at higher risk. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis, most often resulting from inhaling dust contaminated with bacterial, fungal, or animal products.
- Cigarette smoking can increase the risk or make the illness worse.
- Some typical connective tissue diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Scleroderma. Other diseases that involve connective tissue, such as sarcoidosis and Wegener's granulomatosis.
- Certain medications, e.g. amiodarone, bleomycin, busulfan, methotrexate, and nitrofurantoin
- Radiation therapy to the chest.
Stem Cell Treatments for Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD. Pulmonary Fibrosis and COPD and Stem Cell studies and protocols from the NIH:
Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate airway inflammation and emphysema in COPD through down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 via p38 and ERK MAPK pathways.
Mesenchymal stem cells alleviate airway inflammation and emphysema in COPD through down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 via p38 and ERK MAPK pathways. Sci Rep. 2015;5:8733 Authors: Gu W, Song L, Li XM, Wang D, Guo XJ, Xu WG Abstract Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have been identified as one possible strategy for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Our previous studies have demonstrated that MSC administration has therapeutic potential in airway inflammation and emphysema via a paracrine mechanism. We proposed that MSCs reverse the inflammatory process and restore impaired lung function through their interaction with macrophages. In our study, the rats were exposed to cigarette smoke (CS), followed by the administration of MSCs into the lungs for 5 weeks. Here we show that MSC administration alleviated airway inflammation and emphysema through the down-regulation of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and COX-2-mediated prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production, possibly through the effect on alveolar macrophages. In vitro co-culture experiments provided evidence that MSCs down-regulated COX-2/PGE2 in macrophages through inhibition of the activation-associated phosphorylation of p38 MAPK and ERK. Our data suggest that MSCs may relieve airway inflammation and emphysema in CS-exposed rat models, through the inhibition of COX-2/PGE2 in alveolar macrophages, mediated in part by the p38 MAPK and ERK pathways. This study provides a compelling mechanism for MSC treatment in COPD, in addition to its paracrine mechanism. PMID: 25736434 [PubMed - in process]Read more...