MSC from fetal and adult lungs possess lung-specific properties compared to bone marrow-derived MSC

Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 6:6:29160. doi: 10.1038/srep29160.


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are multipotent cells with regenerative and immune-modulatory properties. Therefore, MSC have been proposed as a potential cell-therapy for bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS). On the other hand, there are publications demonstrating that MSC might be involved in the development of BOS. Despite limited knowledge regarding the functional role of tissue-resident lung-MSC, several clinical trials have been performed using MSC, particularly bone marrow (BM)-derived MSC, for various lung diseases. We aimed to compare lung-MSC with the well-characterized BM-MSC. Furthermore, MSC isolated from lung-transplanted patients with BOS were compared to patients without BOS. Our study show that lung-MSCs are smaller, possess a higher colony-forming capacity and have a different cytokine profile compared to BM-MSC. Utilizing gene expression profiling, 89 genes including lung-specific FOXF1 and HOXB5 were found to be significantly different between BM-MSC and lung-MSC. No significant differences in cytokine secretion or gene expression were found between MSC isolated from BOS patients compared recipients without BOS. These data demonstrate that lung-resident MSC possess lung-specific properties. Furthermore, these results show that MSC isolated from lung-transplanted patients with BOS do not have an altered phenotype compared to MSC isolated from good outcome recipients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology*
  • Bronchiolitis Obliterans / pathology
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cell Separation
  • Cell Shape
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Fetus / cytology*
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lung / cytology*
  • Lung Transplantation
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Middle Aged
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biomarkers
  • Cytokines
  • FOXF1 protein, human
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • HOXB5 protein, human
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • RNA