Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a worldwide epidemic disease and a major cause of death and disability, it can be briefly described as airflow limitation and chronic dyspnea (difficult or labored breathing), associatedto an inflammatory response of the respiratory tract to noxious particles and gases, mostly in tobacco. Its main feature is the obstruction of airflow and consequent chronic dyspnea.
Despite recent advances, and the development of new therapeutic, medical and clinical approaches, a curative therapy is yet to be achieved and conventional therapies are only used to improve symptoms but not really change de disease progression.
Stem cell transplantation is a promising method for the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and mesenchymal stem cells have clinical potential for lung repair and regeneration.
Recent studies demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cells have the capacity to modulate immune responses in acute lung injury and pulmonary fibrosis in animal models, as well as in human patients. Stem cells from different sources, such as those found in bone marrow or adipose tissue, could act preventing the emphysematous lesion progression.
Cell therapy was shown to reduce oxidative damage during smoking, which may collectively hold promise in attenuation of the severity of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
There is much to be learned from the basic and clinical science of mesenchymal stem cells in order to reap the full potential of these multifaceted progenitor cells in the treatment of of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, but so far results are very positive and promising.