Lung-derived mesenchymal stromal cell post-transplantation survival, persistence, paracrine expression, and repair of elastase-injured lung

Stem Cells Dev. 2011 Oct;20(10):1779-92. doi: 10.1089/scd.2011.0105. Epub 2011 Jul 6.


While multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells have been recently isolated from adult lung (L-MSCs), there is very limited data on their biological properties and therapeutic potential in vivo. How L-MSCs compare with bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) is also unclear. In this study, we characterized L-MSC phenotype, clonogenicity, and differentiation potential, and compared L-MSCs to BM-MSCs in vivo survival, retention, paracrine gene expression, and repair or elastase injury after transplantation. L-MSCs were highly clonogenic, frequently expressed aldehyde dehydrogenase activity, and differentiated into osteocytes, chondrocytes, adipocytes, myofibroblasts, and smooth muscle cells. After intravenous injection (2 h), L-MSCs showed greater survival than BM-MSCs; similarly, L-MSCs were significantly more resistant than BM-MSCs to anchorage independent culture (4 h) in vitro. Long after transplantation (4 or 32 days), a significantly higher number of CD45(neg) L-MSCs were retained than BM-MSCs. By flow cytometry, L-MSCs expressed more intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), platelet derived growth factor receptor alpha (PDGFRα), and integrin α2 than BM-MSCs; these proteins were found to modulate endothelial adherence, directional migration, and migration across Matrigel in L-MSCs. Further, L-MSCs with low ICAM-1 showed poorer lung retention and higher phagocytosis in vivo. Compared with BM-MSCs, L-MSCs expressed higher levels of several transcripts (e.g., Ccl2, Cxcl2, Cxcl10, IL-6, IL-11, Hgf, and Igf2) in vitro, although gene expression in vivo was increased by L-MSCs and BM-MSCs equivalently. Accordingly, both L-MSCs and BM-MSCs reduced elastase injury to the same extent. This study demonstrates that tissue-specific L-MSCs possess mechanisms that enhance their lung retention after intravenous transplantation, and produce substantial healing of elastase injury comparable to BM-MSCs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Movement / genetics
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endothelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung Injury / genetics
  • Lung Injury / pathology*
  • Lung Injury / therapy*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Multipotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Paracrine Communication* / genetics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Wound Healing* / genetics


  • Membrane Proteins
  • Pancreatic Elastase