Repairing damaged lungs using regenerative therapy

Curr Opin Pharmacol. 2021 Aug;59:85-94. doi: 10.1016/j.coph.2021.05.002. Epub 2021 Jun 22.


There is an urgent need for better treatment of lung diseases that are a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. This urgency is illustrated by the current COVID-19 health crisis. Moderate-to-extensive lung injury characterizes several lung diseases, and not only therapies that reduce such lung injury are needed but also those that regenerate lung tissue and repair existing lung injury. At present, such therapies are not available, but as a result of a rapid increase in our understanding of lung development and repair, lung regenerative therapies are on the horizon. Here, we discuss existing targets for treatment, as well as novel strategies for development of pharmacological and cell therapy-based regenerative treatment for a variety of lung diseases and clinical studies. We discuss how both patient-relevant in vitro disease models using innovative culture techniques and other advanced new technologies aid in the development of pulmonary regenerative medicine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Lung Diseases / therapy*
  • Regeneration*
  • Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Stem Cells