Stem Cells Can Help Repair the Lungs

Another Area of Medicine with Little Hope

In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affected 251 million individuals with an estimated 3.17 million deaths, accounting for approximately 5% of all global deaths. And yet, not much can be done to mitigate this problem. The Mayo Clinic says that “effective therapy (for COPD) is available that can control symptoms, slow progression, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life.” And they subsequently list the treatment protocols which include: stopping smoking, the use of bronchodilators, steroids, antibiotics, oxygen therapy, and ultimately a lung transplant. In other words, there is nothing that can be done to help repair the lungs; we can only alleviate the symptoms.

Stem Cells Can Repair the Lungs

As with most of the organs of the body, stem cell research has demonstrated that bone marrow stem cells have the ability of migrating into the lungs and transforming into new lung cells.[1],[2] Consequently, scientists began investigating ways of tapping into the regenerative potential of adult stem cells in order to repair damaged lungs, which led to the discovery that a simple injection of bone marrow-derived stem cells could help repair the lung.[3] This approach soon became the focal point of investigation with various types of lung problems.

Stem Cells Can Repair Lung Damage from Smoking

There are two different types of smoke: exposure to smoke during a fire and daily exposure to cigarette smoke. While relatively rare, lung damage created by accidental exposure to smoke during a fire remains a leading cause of respiratory failure in burn victims. Duplicating this injury in rats, it was demonstrated that a simple injection of bone marrow-derived stem cells into the bloodstream could reduce inflammation in the lungs and alleviate lung injury through the simple differentiation of stem cells into lung cells.[4]

Lung damage created by cigarette smoking is much more prevalent, albeit essentially self-inflicted, and it comes after sustained long-term exposure. It is in fact the main cause of COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Duplicating long-term exposure to cigarette smoking in mice, it was reported that injections of bone marrow stem cells into the bloodstream led to reduced inflammation in the lungs, markedly reduced cell death in the lung, and a reduction in airspace enlargement associated with emphysema.[5] In other words, stem cells significantly repaired the lung tissues causing immediate improvement in lung function. Over the years, many other studies using various models of COPD or emphysema have reported significant improvements after a simple injection of stem cells in the bloodstream.[6],[7],[8] And the general observation is that stem cells work by reducing inflammation in the lungs and regenerating lung tissue.[9],[10]

Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization and Cigarette Smoking

Given that bone marrow stem cells constitute the natural repair system of the body, and that the main outcome of a stem cell injection is the simple increase in the number of circulating stem cells, the release of one’s own stem cells was also tested as a means of reversing the consequence of cigarette smoking. Using mice and the drug AMD3100, which triggers Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization (ESCM), it was documented that ESCM protected against alveolar airspace enlargement and improved overall lung function.[11]

In another study, ESCM was documented not only to help regenerate alveolar structure and improve overall lung condition and function, but was also reported to significantly increase exercise capacity, which is one of the most debilitating limitations of emphysema patients.[12]

Number of Circulating Stem Cells and COPD

Since emphysema is a slow developing problem and stem cells have been documented to play an important role in lung repair, it appears that COPD could partially result from long-term reduction in the number of stem cells in circulation. When comparing healthy individuals with people suffering from COPD, those suffering from COPD were found to have, on average, a 3-fold reduction in the number of circulating stem cells.[13]

Conclusion

In conclusion, ESCM using a natural herbal stem cell enhancer could help support pulmonary function and increase general quality of life for people suffering from various conditions of the lung.

Another Area of Medicine with Little Hope

In 2016, the World Health Organization reported that Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) affected 251 million individuals with an estimated 3.17 million deaths, accounting for approximately 5% of all global deaths. And yet, not much can be done to mitigate this problem. The Mayo Clinic says that “effective therapy (for COPD) is available that can control symptoms, slow progression, reduce your risk of complications and exacerbations, and improve your ability to lead an active life.” And they subsequently list the treatment protocols which include: stopping smoking, the use of bronchodilators, steroids, antibiotics, oxygen therapy, and ultimately a lung transplant. In other words, there is nothing that can be done to help repair the lungs; we can only alleviate the symptoms.

Stem Cells Can Repair the Lungs

As with most of the organs of the body, stem cell research has demonstrated that bone marrow stem cells have the ability of migrating into the lungs and transforming into new lung cells.[1],[2] Consequently, scientists began investigating ways of tapping into the regenerative potential of adult stem cells in order to repair damaged lungs, which led to the discovery that a simple injection of bone marrow-derived stem cells could help repair the lung.[3] This approach soon became the focal point of investigation with various types of lung problems.

Stem Cells Can Repair Lung Damage from Smoking

There are two different types of smoke: exposure to smoke during a fire and daily exposure to cigarette smoke. While relatively rare, lung damage created by accidental exposure to smoke during a fire remains a leading cause of respiratory failure in burn victims. Duplicating this injury in rats, it was demonstrated that a simple injection of bone marrow-derived stem cells into the bloodstream could reduce inflammation in the lungs and alleviate lung injury through the simple differentiation of stem cells into lung cells.[4]

Lung damage created by cigarette smoking is much more prevalent, albeit essentially self-inflicted, and it comes after sustained long-term exposure. It is in fact the main cause of COPD, which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Duplicating long-term exposure to cigarette smoking in mice, it was reported that injections of bone marrow stem cells into the bloodstream led to reduced inflammation in the lungs, markedly reduced cell death in the lung, and a reduction in airspace enlargement associated with emphysema.[5] In other words, stem cells significantly repaired the lung tissues causing immediate improvement in lung function. Over the years, many other studies using various models of COPD or emphysema have reported significant improvements after a simple injection of stem cells in the bloodstream.[6],[7],[8] And the general observation is that stem cells work by reducing inflammation in the lungs and regenerating lung tissue.[9],[10]

Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization and Cigarette Smoking

Given that bone marrow stem cells constitute the natural repair system of the body, and that the main outcome of a stem cell injection is the simple increase in the number of circulating stem cells, the release of one’s own stem cells was also tested as a means of reversing the consequence of cigarette smoking. Using mice and the drug AMD3100, which triggers Endogenous Stem Cell Mobilization (ESCM), it was documented that ESCM protected against alveolar airspace enlargement and improved overall lung function.[11]

In another study, ESCM was documented not only to help regenerate alveolar structure and improve overall lung condition and function, but was also reported to significantly increase exercise capacity, which is one of the most debilitating limitations of emphysema patients.[12]

Number of Circulating Stem Cells and COPD

Since emphysema is a slow developing problem and stem cells have been documented to play an important role in lung repair, it appears that COPD could partially result from long-term reduction in the number of stem cells in circulation. When comparing healthy individuals with people suffering from COPD, those suffering from COPD were found to have, on average, a 3-fold reduction in the number of circulating stem cells.[13]

Conclusion

In conclusion, ESCM using a natural herbal stem cell enhancer could help support pulmonary function and increase general quality of life for people suffering from various conditions of the lung.

Click to expand sources (1 to 10)

[1] Multi-organ, multi-lineage engraftment by a single bone marrow-derived stem cell.

Krause DS, Theise ND, Collector MI, Henegariu O, Hwang S, Gardner R, Neutzel S, Sharkis SJ.

Cell. 2001 May 4;105(3):369-77.

 

[2] Pluripotency of mesenchymal stem cells derived from adult marrow.

Jiang Y, Jahagirdar BN, Reinhardt RL, Schwartz RE, Keene CD, Ortiz-Gonzalez XR, Reyes M, Lenvik T, Lund T, Blackstad M, Du J, Aldrich S, Lisberg A, Low WC, Largaespada DA, Verfaillie CM.

Nature. 2002 Jul 4;418(6893):41-9. Epub 2002 Jun 20. 

 

[3] Bone marrow-derived progenitor cells are important for lung repair after lipopolysaccharide-induced lung injury.

Yamada M, Kubo H, Kobayashi S, Ishizawa K, Numasaki M, Ueda S, Suzuki T, Sasaki H.

J Immunol. 2004 Jan 15;172(2):1266-72.

 

[4] Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells protect lungs from smoke inhalation injury by differentiating into alveolar epithelial cells via Notch signaling.

Liang Y, Yin C, Lu XI, Jiang H, Jin F.

J Biosci. 2019 Mar;44(1). pii: 2.

 

[5] Adipose stem cell treatment in mice attenuates lung and systemic injury induced by cigarette smoking.

Schweitzer KS, Johnstone BH, Garrison J, Rush NI, Cooper S, Traktuev DO, Feng D, Adamowicz JJ, Van Demark M, Fisher AJ, Kamocki K, Brown MB, Presson RG Jr, Broxmeyer HE, March KL, Petrache I.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011 Jan 15;183(2):215-25.

 

[6] Mesenchymal stromal cells: a novel therapy for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease?

Broekman W, Khedoe PPSJ, Schepers K, Roelofs H, Stolk J, Hiemstra PS.

Thorax. 2018 Jun;73(6):565-574. 

 

[7] Biological effects and mechanisms of action of mesenchymal stem cell therapy in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Jin Z, Pan X, Zhou K, Bi H, Wang L, Yu L, Wang Q.

J Int Med Res. 2015 Jun;43(3):303-10. 

 

[8] Bone marrow-derived cells contribute to lung regeneration after elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema.

Ishizawa K, Kubo H, Yamada M, Kobayashi S, Numasaki M, Ueda S, Suzuki T, Sasaki H.

FEBS Lett. 2004 Jan 2;556(1-3):249-52.

 

[9] Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells ameliorate lung injury through anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect in COPD mice.

Liu HM, Liu YT, Zhang J, Ma LJ.

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2017 Aug;37(4):496-504.

 

[10] MSCs relieve lung injury of COPD mice through promoting proliferation of endogenous lung stem cells.

Liu HM, Ma LJ, Wu JZ, Li YG.

J Huazhong Univ Sci Technolog Med Sci. 2015 Dec;35(6):828-833.

Click to expand sources (11 to 13)

[11] AMD3100 ameliorates cigarette smoke-induced emphysema-like manifestations in mice.

Barwinska D, Oueini H, Poirier C, Albrecht ME, Bogatcheva NV, Justice MJ, Saliba J, Schweitzer KS, Broxmeyer HE, March KL, Petrache I.

Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2018 Sep 1;315(3):L382-L386.

 

[12] Recovery of pulmonary structure and exercise capacity by treatment with granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) in a mouse model of emphysema.

Fortunato G, Vidal DT, Klein W, Neto A, Angrizani A, Vasconcelos JF, Kaneto C, Souza BS, Ribeiro-dos-Santos R, Soares MB, Macambira SG.

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2014 Apr;27(2):144-9.

 

[13] Circulating haemopoietic and endothelial progenitor cells are decreased in COPD.

Palange P, Testa U, Huertas A, Calabrò L, Antonucci R, Petrucci E, Pelosi E, Pasquini L, Satta A, Morici G, Vignola MA, Bonsignore MR.

Eur Respir J. 2006 Mar;27(3):529-41.

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