Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) attenuate lung injury in experimental models of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Stromal derived factor-1 (SDF-1), a chemokine secreted by MSCs, modulates angiogenesis and stem cell recruitment. Here we tested the hypothesis that SDF-1 mediates MSC protective effects in experimental BPD by modulating angiogenesis. Methods: SDF-1 was knocked down in MSCs using lentiviral vectors carrying anti-SDF-1 short hairpin RNA (MSC-SDF KD). Non-silencing short hairpin RNA was used as control (MSC-NS control). Newborn rats exposed to normoxia or hyperoxia (FiO2 = 0.85) for 3 weeks, were randomly assigned to receive a single intra-tracheal injection (IT) of MSC-NS control or MSC-SDF KD (1 × 106 cells/50 μl) or placebo on postnatal day 7. The degree of alveolarization, lung angiogenesis, inflammation, and pulmonary hypertension (PH) were assessed at postnatal day 21. Results: Administration of IT MSC-NS control improved lung alveolarization, angiogenesis and inflammation, and attenuated PH in newborn rats with hyperoxia-induced lung injury (HILI). In contrast, knockdown of SDF-1 in MSCs significantly reduced their beneficial effects on alveolarization, angiogenesis, inflammation and PH. Conclusions: The therapeutic benefits of MSCs in neonatal HILI are in part mediated by SDF-1, through anti-inflammatory and angiogenesis promoting mechanisms. Therapies directly targeting this chemokine may provide a novel strategy for the treatment of BPD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine