Stem cell research & therapy 2016 Oct 287(1) 159
The avian influenza virus (AIV) can cross species barriers and expand its host range from birds to mammals, even humans. Avian influenza is characterized by pronounced activation of the proinflammatory cytokine cascade, which perpetuates the inflammatory response, leading to persistent systemic inflammatory response syndrome and pulmonary infection in animals and humans. There are currently no specific treatment strategies for avian influenza.
We hypothesized that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) would have beneficial effects in the treatment of H9N2 AIV-induced acute lung injury in mice. Six- to 8-week-old C57BL/6 mice were infected intranasally with 1 × 10(4) MID50 of A/HONG KONG/2108/2003 [H9N2 (HK)] H9N2 virus to induce acute lung injury. After 30 min, syngeneic MSCs were delivered through the caudal vein. Three days after infection, we measured the survival rate, lung weight, arterial blood gas, and cytokines in both bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) and serum, and assessed pathological changes to the lungs.
MSC administration significantly palliated H9N2 AIV-induced pulmonary inflammation by reducing chemokines and proinflammatory cytokines levels, as well as reducing inflammatory cell recruit into the lungs. Thus, H9N2 AIV-induced lung injury was markedly alleviated in mice treated with MSCs. Lung histopathology and arterial blood gas analysis were improved in mice with H9N2 AIV-induced lung injury following MSC treatment.
MSC treatment significantly reduces H9N2 AIV-induced acute lung injury in mice and is associated with reduced pulmonary inflammation. These results indicate a potential role for MSC therapy in the treatment of clinical avian influenza.