Stem cell therapy drug may protect against smoke-related COPD symptoms

July 5, 2018, American Physiological Society

A drug used in stem cell therapy to treat certain cancers may also protect against cigarette smoke-induced lung injury. The study, published ahead of print in the American Journal of Physiology—Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, was chosen as an APSselect article for July.

Plerixafor is a medication that stimulates the immune system to release more of a type of stem cell (hematopoietic progenitor , or HPCs) from the into the bloodstream. The drug is used to treat some types of cancer that originate in the blood cells, including multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Stem cells have the potential to develop into many different kinds of cells in the body and are involved in tissue repair. Previous research has shown that lower numbers of HPCs in the bloodstream correspond to increased severity of emphysema, a form of chronic (COPD). COPD is a progressive lung disease that makes breathing difficult.

Studies suggest the reduced number of circulating HPCs prevents the lungs from being able to repair smoke-related damage. Based on this theory, researchers explored the effect of plerixafor on stem cell circulation—and subsequent lung function—in mice. One group of animals was exposed to cigarette smoke five days a week for 22 weeks and received regular injections of plerixafor ("treated"), and another group was exposed to smoke but did not receive treatment ("exposed").

The researchers collected from all groups of mice and found a drop in the number of cells in the exposed group early in the trial period, which is consistent with findings that even brief cigarette smoke exposures reduce HPC populations in the bone marrow, according to the research team. Conversely, there was no detectable depletion of HPCs in the treated group, and, in fact, numbers increased after two weeks of treatment. Lung fluid samples from the treated group showed no significant changes in the number of white or inflammation as compared to a control group. Increases in these factors typically indicate illness or injury.

The protective effects of plerixafor on smoke-induced lung injury "raise the possibility that [bone marrow] mobilization increases the availability of HPC for lung cell maintenance and repair," the researchers wrote. "Our report supports the usefulness of this FDA-approved drug as a potential treatment for emphysema."

Explore further: Stem cells could offer hope for patients with lung damage from COPD and asthma

More information: Daria Barwinska et al, AMD3100 ameliorates cigarette smoke-induced emphysema-like manifestations in mice, American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (2018). DOI: 10.1152/ajplung.00185.2018

Related Stories

Stem cells could offer hope for patients with lung damage from COPD and asthma

September 27, 2017
Early stage trials have shown promise for a cell-based therapy for treating lung tissue damaged by respiratory diseases.

Smoking may cause inflammatory bowel disease

October 31, 2017
A new study shows a direct effect of cigarette smoke on intestinal inflammation for the first time. Researchers in South Korea report that exposing mice to cigarette smoke results in colitis, an inflammation of the colon ...

Blood pressure drug limits cigarette smoke-induced lung injury in mice

December 19, 2011
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is among the most common causes of death in the US. It is a smoking-related disease for which there are currently no disease-altering therapies. However, hope that one could be ...

Downregulation of miR-126 augments DNA damage response

August 2, 2017
(HealthDay)—For cigarette smokers and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), downregulation of microRNA-126 (miR-126) augments DNA damage response (DDR), according to a letter to the editor published ...

Thirdhand smoke found to increase lung cancer risk in mice

March 9, 2018
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) identified thirdhand smoke, the toxic residues that linger on indoor surfaces and in dust long after a cigarette has been extinguished, ...

Exercise may help protect smokers from inflammation, muscle damage

November 29, 2017
Regular exercise may protect smokers from some of the negative effects associated with smoking, such as muscle loss and inflammation, according to a new study. The article is published ahead of print in the American Journal ...

Recommended for you

Separated entry and exit doors for calcium keep energy production smooth in the powerhouses of heart cells

September 18, 2018
Stress demands the heart to work harder and faster. To keep pace, the muscle must make its fuel at an accelerated rate. Bursts of calcium entering mitochondria—the cell's powerhouses—normally help control energy output, ...

First gut bacteria may have lasting effect on ability to fight chronic diseases

September 18, 2018
New research showing that the first bacteria introduced into the gut have a lasting impact may one day allow science to adjust microbiomes—the one-of-a-kind microbial communities that live in our gastrointestinal tracts—to ...

A new defender for your sense of smell

September 18, 2018
New research from the Monell Center increases understanding of a mysterious sensory cell located in the olfactory epithelium, the patch of nasal tissue that contains odor-detecting olfactory receptor cells. The findings suggest ...

Small molecule plays big role in weaker bones as we age

September 18, 2018
With age, expression of a small molecule that can silence others goes way up while a key signaling molecule that helps stem cells make healthy bone goes down, scientists report.

Sperm quality study updates advice for couples trying to conceive

September 17, 2018
Could doctors at fertility clinics be giving men bad advice? Dr. Da Li and Dr. XiuXia Wang, who are clinician-researchers at the Center for Reproductive Medicine of Shengjing Hospital in Shenyang in northeast China, think ...

Antioxidant found to be effective in treating mice with osteoarthritis

September 14, 2018
A team of researchers in Belgium and the Netherlands has found that feeding a common antioxidant to test mice was effective in treating osteoarthritis. In their paper published in Science Translational Medicine, the group ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.