Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Original article
Therapeutic effects of human mesenchymal stem cell microvesicles in an ex vivo perfused human lung injured with severe E. coli pneumonia
  1. Jeonghyun Park1,
  2. Seonguk Kim2,
  3. Hyungsun Lim3,
  4. Airan Liu1,
  5. Shuling Hu1,
  6. JaeHoon Lee1,
  7. Hanjing Zhuo1,
  8. Qi Hao1,
  9. Michael A Matthay1,
  10. Jae-W Lee1
  1. 1 Departments of Anesthesiology, Medicine, and Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA
  2. 2 Department of Pediatrics, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, The Republic of Korea
  3. 3 Department of Anesthesiology, Jeonbuk National University Medical School, Jeonju, The Republic of Korea
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jae-W Lee, Department of Anesthesiology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco CA 94143, USA; leejw{at}


Background We previously reported that microvesicles (MVs) released by human mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) were as effective as the cells themselves in both Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide and live bacteria-induced acute lung injury (ALI) mice models. However, it remained unclear whether the biological effect of MSC MV can be applied to human ALI.

Methods In the current study, we tested the therapeutic effects of MSC MVs in a well-established ex vivo perfused human model of bacterial pneumonia. Using human donor lungs not used for transplantation, we instilled E. coli bacteria intrabronchially and, 1 hour later, administered MSC MVs into the perfusate as therapy.

Results After 6 hours, instillation of E. coli bacteria caused influx of inflammatory cells, which resulted in significant inflammation, lung protein permeability and pulmonary oedema formation. Administration of MSC MV significantly increased alveolar fluid clearance and reduced protein permeability and numerically lowered the bacterial load in the injured alveolus. The beneficial effect on bacterial killing was more pronounced with pretreatment of MSCs with a Toll-like receptor 3 agonist, polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (Poly (I:C)), prior to the isolation of MVs. Isolated human alveolar macrophages had increased antimicrobial activity with MSC MV treatment in vitro as well. Although oxygenation and lung compliance levels were similar between injury and treatment groups, administration of MSC MVs numerically decreased median pulmonary artery pressure at 6 hours.

Conclusions In summary, MSC MVs increased alveolar fluid clearance and reduced lung protein permeability, and pretreatment with Poly (I:C) enhanced the antimicrobial activity of MVs in an ex vivo perfused human lung with severe bacteria pneumonia.

  • ards
  • pneumonia
  • pulmonary oedema

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Contributors JP: conception and design, collection and assembly of data, data analysis and interpretation, and manuscript writing. SK, HL, AL, SH, JL, HZ and QH: collection and assembly of data and data analysis and interpretation. MAM: financial support, data analysis and interpretation and manuscript writing. J-WL: conception and design, financial support, data analysis and interpretation, manuscript writing and final approval.

  • Funding This work was supported by the National Institute of Health National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute grant number HL-113022 (Dr J-W Lee), HL-51856 and HL-131621 (Dr M A Matthay).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Linked Articles

  • Editorial
    Andrew James Boyle Cecilia M O’Kane Daniel Francis McAuley
  • Airwaves
    The Triumvirate