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Translating Basic Research Into Clinical Practice |

Stem Cells for Lung Disease*

Michael R. Loebinger, BM, BCh, MA (Hons); Sam M. Janes, MSc, PhD
Author and Funding Information

*From the Centre of Respiratory Research, University College London, London, UK.

Correspondence to: Sam M. Janes, MSc, PhD, MRCP, Centre of Respiratory Research, Rayne Building, University College London, 5 University St, London, WC1E 6JJ, UK; e-mail: s.janes@ucl.ac.uk



Chest. 2007;132(1):279-285. doi:10.1378/chest.06-2751
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Respiratory diseases remain one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality in the world. Interest has increased as to the possibility of optimizing the repair of the lung with the manipulation of stem cells. Embryonic and adult stem cells have been suggested as possibilities. Adult stem cells have traditionally been thought of as having limited differentiation ability and to be organ specific. However, a series of exciting reports over the last 5 to 10 years have suggested that adult bone marrow-derived stem cells may have more plasticity and are able to differentiate into bronchial and alveolar epithelium, vascular endothelium, and interstitial cell types, making them prime candidates for repair. This article critically reviews the evidence for this plasticity and the use of predominantly adult stem cells to help with lung regeneration and repair and assesses how this technology may be utilized in clinical medicine.

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