Feasibility and Safety of Low-Dose Mesenchymal Stem Cell Infusion in Lung Transplant Recipients

David Brett Erasmus, Nisha Durand, Francisco A. Alvarez, Tathagat Narula, David O. Hodge, Abba C. Zubair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: We have previously shown bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may shift immune responses toward anti-inflammatory pathways and stabilize the course of obstructive chronic lung allograft syndrome (o-CLAD) after lung transplantation. In this study, we measured the response of lower dose infusions. Methods: We infused low-dose MSCs intravenously in 13 patients who had developed moderate-to-severe o-CLAD. Three had previously received an infusion of MSCs from a different donor and were re-dosed at 1 × 106 MSC/kg, while 5 received a first dose at 1 × 106 MSC/kg and five received an even lower dose at 0.5 × 106 MSC/kg. We recorded pulmonary function tests before and after infusion, and patients were followed clinically for 12 months. Results: Infusions were well tolerated, and no significant adverse events were recorded in the first 30 days. There was significant decline (mean ± SD) in forced vital capacity (FVC) (3.49 ± 1.03 vs 3.18 ± 0.94 L, P =. 03) and forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) (2.28 ± 0.86 vs 1.77 ± 0.49 L, P =. 04) over the year preceding infusion. FVC (3.18 ± 0.94 vs 3.46 ± 0.99 L, P =. 53) and FEV1 was not significantly changed (1.77 ± 0.49 vs 1.88 ± 0.75, P =. 72) when comparing values immediately prior to infusion to those obtained 1 year after infusion, indicating a possible stabilizing effect on lung function decline due to o-CLAD. Conclusion: Intravenous infusions of bone marrow-derived MSCs are well tolerated in lung transplant recipients with moderate-to-severe CLAD. Low-dose MSCs appear to slow progression of CLAD in some patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)891-899
Number of pages9
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Th1/Th2
  • adult human bone marrow
  • lung
  • mesenchymal stem cells
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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