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Stem cell therapy may help recondition lungs previously rejected for transplant

Date:
May 30, 2014
Source:
American Physiological Society (APS)
Summary:
Stem cells therapy has been used to “recondition” abnormally functioning donor lungs that were deemed unusable for transplantion. This study could have implications for increasing the supply of suitable donor lungs. Nearly 1,650 people in the U.S. are awaiting lung transplants. Unfortunately, both domestically and abroad, the demand for donor lungs far outpaces the supply. The limited availability of donor lungs can lead to long delays before transplant, leaving patients to face a mortality rate of up to 40 percent while they wait.

Nearly 1,650 people in the U.S. are awaiting lung transplants. Unfortunately, both domestically and abroad, the demand for donor lungs far outpaces the supply. The limited availability of donor lungs can lead to long delays before transplant, leaving patients to face a mortality rate of up to 40 percent while they wait.

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Most potentially transplantable lungs are rejected by surgical teams because of injury or dysfunction, such as pulmonary edema (fluid build-up in the lungs). In addition to rendering lungs unusable for transplant, pulmonary edema also signals that the lungs are not functioning properly post-transplant and is a major cause of illness and death among lung transplant recipients. Lungs that can clear fluid better are associated with better outcomes among recipients after transplantation.

In this study, Danny F. McAuley, Gerard F. Curley, Umar I. Hamid, John G. Laffey, Jason Abbott, David H. McKenna, Xiaohui Fang, Michael A. Matthay, and Jae W. Lee looked at whether lungs that were rejected for transplantation because of edema could be "reconditioned" to qualify for transplant. They studied donor lungs that had been rejected for transplantation by the Northern California Transplant Donor Network and that were cleared for research use by the donors' families.

Roughly 50 percent of these rejected lungs had a decreased capacity to reabsorb lung fluid. The research team found that administering human mesenchymal stem (stromal) cells (MSCs) intravenously restored the ability of the lung to remove alveolar edema fluid more normally. The research highlights the potential for MSC administration as a therapy for resolving pulmonary edema and improving donor lungs before transplantation. The study has implications for increasing the supply of usable donor lungs available for transplant.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Physiological Society (APS). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. D. F. McAuley, G. F. Curley, U. I. Hamid, J. G. Laffey, J. Abbott, D. H. McKenna, X. Fang, M. A. Matthay, J. W. Lee. Clinical grade allogeneic human mesenchymal stem cells restore alveolar fluid clearance in human lungs rejected for transplantation. AJP: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, 2014; 306 (9): L809 DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00358.2013

Cite This Page:

American Physiological Society (APS). "Stem cell therapy may help recondition lungs previously rejected for transplant." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530121550.htm>.
American Physiological Society (APS). (2014, May 30). Stem cell therapy may help recondition lungs previously rejected for transplant. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530121550.htm
American Physiological Society (APS). "Stem cell therapy may help recondition lungs previously rejected for transplant." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140530121550.htm (accessed April 18, 2015).

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