Regenerative or stem cell therapy is an emerging field of treatment based on stimulation of endogenous resident stem cells or administration of exogenous stem cells to treat diseases or injury and to replace malfunctioning or damaged tissues. Current evidence suggests that in the lung, these cells may participate in tissue homeostasis and regeneration after injury. Animal and human studies have demonstrated that tissue-specific stem cells and bone marrow-derived cells contribute to lung tissue regeneration and protection, and thus administration of exogenous stem/progenitor cells or humoral factors responsible for the activation of endogenous stem/progenitor cells may be a potent next-generation therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The use of bone marrow-derived stem cells could allow repairing and regenerate the damaged tissue present in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by means of their engraftment into the lung. Another approach could be the stimulation of resident stem cells by means of humoral factors or photobiostimulation.
Keywords: all-trans retinoic acid; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; photobiostimulation; regenerative therapy; stem cells.