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Experimental stem cell treatment arrests acute lung injury in mice, study shows
Date:2/3/2010

Stem cell researchers exploring a new approach for the care of respiratory diseases report that an experimental treatment involving transplantable lung cells was associated with improved outcomes in tests on mice with acute lung injury. The lung cells were derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Findings by investigators at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are scheduled to appear in the March issue of Molecular Therapy.

Mice receiving the transplantable lung cells lived longer, sustained less scarring in their lungs and had normal amounts of oxygen in their blood, said Rick Wetsel, Ph.D., the study's senior author and a professor in the university's Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the Prevention of Human Diseases (IMM).

"Respiratory diseases are a major cause of mortality and morbidity worldwide," wrote Wetsel and his colleagues in the paper. "Current treatments offer no prospect of cure or disease reversal. Transplantation of pulmonary progenitor cells derived from human embryonic stem cells may provide a novel approach to regenerate endogenous lung cells destroyed by injury and disease."

Giuseppe N. Colasurdo, M.D., dean of The University of Texas Medical School at Houston and physician-in-chief at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital, said, "This research work will provide a useful model for studying the pathogenesis and treatment of a variety of lung disorders. I am confident future studies will advance our knowledge on the cellular mechanisms responsible for the improvement observed in the study."

Colasurdo, who specializes in lung disorders in children and infants, said a better understanding of the basic mechanisms involved in the healing phase of lung diseases is critical to the development of treatments. "These are diseases involving a variety of cells and cell products," he said.

Much human embryonic stem cell research is focused on conditi
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Contact: Robert Cahill
Robert.Cahill@uth.tmc.edu
713-500-3030
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Source:Eurekalert  

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