Clinical trials investigating mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy for bronchopulmonary dysplasia have been initiated; however, the optimal delivery route and functional effects of MSC therapy in newborns remain incompletely established. We studied the morphologic and functional effects of intranasal versus i.p. MSC administration in a rodent model of neonatal lung injury. Cultured human cord tissue MSCs (0.1, 0.5, or 1 × 10(6) cell per pup) were given intranasally or i.p. to newborn severe combined immunodeficiency-beige mice exposed to 90% O2 from birth; sham controls received an equal volume of phosphate-buffered saline. Lung mechanics, engraftment, lung growth, and alveolarization were evaluated 8 weeks after transplantation. High-dose i.p. MSC administration to newborn mice exposed to 90% O2 resulted in the restoration of normal lung compliance, elastance, and pressure-volume loops (tissue recoil). Histologically, high-dose i.p. MSC administration was associated with alveolar septal widening, suggestive of interstitial matrix modification. Intranasal MSC or lower-dose i.p. administration had no significant effects on lung function or alveolar remodeling. Pulmonary engraftment was rare in all the groups. These findings suggest that high-dose systemic administration of human cultured MSCs can restore normal compliance in neonatally injured lungs, possibly by paracrine modulation of the interstitial matrix. Intranasal delivery had no obvious pulmonary effects.
Copyright © 2014 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.