Potential role of stem cells in management of COPD
Tillie L Hackett1,2, Darryl A Knight1,2, Don D Sin1,3
1UBC James Hogg Research Centre, Heart and Lung Institute, St Paul’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6Z 1Y6; 2Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 3Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC Canada
Abstract: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a worldwide epidemic affecting over 200 million people and accounting for more than three million deaths annually. The disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the airways and progressive destruction of lung parenchyma, a process that in most cases is initiated by cigarette smoking. Unfortunately, there are no interventions that have been unequivocally shown to prolong survival in patients with COPD. Regeneration of lung tissue by stem cells from endogenous and exogenous sources is a promising therapeutic strategy. Herein we review the current literature on the characterization of resident stem and progenitor cell niches within the lung, the contribution of mesenchymal stem cells to lung regeneration, and advances in bioengineering of lung tissue.
Keywords: COPD, stem cell therapy, epithelial repair, regenerative medicine