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Paediatr Respir Rev. 2017 Sep;24:54-59. doi: 10.1016/j.prrv.2016.12.003. Epub 2016 Dec 24.

Stem cells and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia - The five questions: Which cells, when, in which dose, to which patients via which route?

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Hospital Bern, Bern, Switzerland; Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA; Department of Clinical Research, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland. Electronic address:
Department of Pediatrics, Maastricht University Medical Center (MUMC), Maastricht, The Netherlands; School for Mental Health and Neuroscience, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands; School of Oncology and Developmental Biology (GROW), Maastricht, The Netherlands. Electronic address:


Preterm birth is the leading cause of death in newborns and children. Despite advances in perinatology, immature infants continue to face serious risks such chronic respiratory impairment from bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Current treatment options are insufficient and novel approaches are desperately needed. In recent years stem cells have emerged as potential candidates to treat BPD with mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs) being particularly promising. MSCs originate from several stem cell niches including bone marrow, skin, or adipose, umbilical cord, and placental tissues. Although the first MSCs clinical trials in BPD are ongoing, multiple questions remain open. In this review, we discuss the question of the optimal cell source (live cells or cell products), route and timing of the transplantation. Furthermore, we discuss MSCs possible capacities including migration, homing, pro-angiogenesis, anti-inflammatory, and tissue-regenerative potential as well.


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; mesenchymal stem cell transplantation; outcomes; paracrine immunomodulation; physiologic actions

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