Gas exchange is developed in lungs thanks to type 1 pneumocytes in alveoli, cells recovering the inner walls of the alveolar cavity. Occupying the same spaces, there are also type II pneumocytes, precursor cells that repair the damaged alveolar tissue. When idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis appears, this regeneration process cannot be developed correctly and fibrosis advances until respiration is impossible. The technique developed by researchers from the IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS consists in a transplantation of type II pneumocytes via intratracheal. In order to monitor correctly the transplanted cells with genetic and fluorescence techniques, sexual chromosomal differences were used. Thus, the disease was induced in female rats, and cells from male rats were transplanted. This is a lowly invasive technique which has permitted to regenerate, for the first time, rat fibrotic alveoli where idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis was induced.
CSIC has patented as a treatment the cell suspension transplanted with this innovative strategy. The world patent will be proved in humans with a clinical study, soon conducted in the Hospital Clnic de Barcelona thanks to the financing of the Fundacin Genoma Espaa and CSIC This study will have the participation of 6 recently diagnosed patients who will receive a suspension of type II pneumocytes coming from a dead donor, since these cells cannot be cultured in the laboratory. All this events throw new and hopeful light into basic and clinical research lines. One of the following steps of researchers will be to try to obtain type II pneumocytes from adult stem cells.
|Contact: lex Argem|
IDIBAPS - Institut d'Investigacions Biomdiques August Pi i Sunyer