Multipotent adult progenitor cells decrease cold ischemic injury in ex vivo perfused human lungs: An initial pilot and feasibility study

Saverio La Francesca, Anthony E. Ting, Jason Sakamoto, Jessica Rhudy, Nicholas R. Bonenfant, Zachary D. Borg, Fernanda F. Cruz, Meagan Goodwin, Nicholas A. Lehman, Jennifer M. Taggart, Robert Deans, Daniel J. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Background: Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) is a significant cause of early morbidity and mortality following lung transplantation. Improved organ preservation techniques will decrease ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI) contributing to PGD. Adult bone marrow-derived adherent stem cells, including mesenchymal stromal (stem) cells (MSCs) and multipotent adult progenitor cells (MAPCs), have potent anti-inflammatory actions, and we thus postulated that intratracheal MAPC administration during donor lung processing would decrease IRI. The goal of the study was therefore to determine if intratracheal MAPC instillation would decrease lung injury and inflammation in an ex vivo human lung explant model of prolonged cold storage and subsequent reperfusion. Methods: Four donor lungs not utilized for transplant underwent 8 h of cold storage (4°C). Following rewarming for approximately 30 min, non-HLA-matched allogeneic MAPCs (1 × 107 MAPCs/lung) were bronchoscopically instilled into the left lower lobe (LLL) and vehicle comparably instilled into the right lower lobe (RLL). The lungs were then perfused and mechanically ventilated for 4 h and subsequently assessed for histologic injury and for inflammatory markers in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and lung tissue. Results: All LLLs consistently demonstrated a significant decrease in histologic and BALF inflammation compared to vehicle-treated RLLs. Conclusions: These initial pilot studies suggest that use of non-HLA-matched allogeneic MAPCs during donor lung processing can decrease markers of cold ischemia-induced lung injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number19
JournalTransplantation Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014


  • Cell therapy
  • Ischemia-reperfusion injury
  • Lung transplantation
  • Mesenchymal stromal cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Transplantation


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