Several experimental studies have suggested that mesenchymal stem cells may have value for the treatment of clinical disorders, including myocardial infarction, diabetes, acute renal failure, sepsis, and acute lung injury. In preclinical studies, mesenchymal stem cells have been effective in reducing lung injury from endotoxin, live bacteria, bleomycin, and hyperoxia. In some studies, the cultured medium from mesenchymal stem cells has been as effective as the mesenchymal stem cells themselves. Several paracrine mediators that can mediate the effect of mesenchymal stem cells have been identified, including interleukin-10, interleukin-1ra, keratinocyte growth factor, and prostaglandin E2. Further preclinical studies are needed, as is planning for clinical trials for acute lung injury.