New Orleans, Louisiana -
Adult stem cells have been used clinically in treatment of heart failure, liver failure, and advanced peripheral artery disease. One exciting possible use of stem cells is in the treatment of pulmonary hypertension. In a recent paper (Spees et al. Bone marrow progenitor cells contribute to repair and remodeling of the lung and heart in a rat model of progressive pulmonary hypertension. FASEB J. 2007 Nov 21) the potential of bone marrow stem cells to treat this condition was assessed.
Female rats were treated with monocrotaline to induce pulmonary hypertension and were subsequently administered bone marrow cells from GFP syngeneic male rats. Male cells were identified in female lung. The male-derived cells consisted of interstitial fibroblasts, myofibroblasts, pulmonary epithelial cells (Clara cells), vascular endothelial cells, and smooth muscle cells.
Since pulmonary hypertension induces a high workload on the right ventricle, ventricular hypertrophy was observed in the rats that were treated with monocrataline. There was a higher number of bone marrow derived cells in the right ventricle as opposed to the left ventricle in the monocrataline treated animals. Some of the bone marrow derived cells were seen to express cardiac and muscle phenotype. The differentiated cells expressed karyotypic normality.
These data support further investigation into the use of bone marrow derived stem cells for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension.