Cell therapy for the treatment of sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome
Sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) are life threating diseases with high mortality and morbidity in all the critical care units around the world. After decades of research, and numerous pre-clinical and clinical trials, sepsis and ARDS remain without a specific and effective pharmacotherapy and essentially the management remains supportive. In the last years cell therapies gained potential as a therapeutic treatment for ARDS and sepsis. Based on numerous pre-clinical studies, there is a growing evidence of the potential benefits of cell based therapies for the treatment of sepsis and ARDS. Several cell types are used in the last years for the treatment of both syndromes showing high efficiency. Embryonic stem cells (ESC), multipotent stem (or stromal) cells (MSC) and epithelial progenitors cells (EpPC) have been used for both diseases. Nowadays, the major part of the pre-clinical studies are using MSC, however other relevant groups are also using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) for the treatment of both syndromes and alveolar type II cells for ARDS treatment. Numerous questions need further study including: determining the best source for the progenitor cells isolation, their large scale production and cryopreservation. Also, the heterogeneity of patients with sepsis and ARDS is massive, and establish a target population or the stratification of the patients will help us to determine better the therapeutic effect of these cell therapies. In this review we are going to describe briefly the different cell types, their potential sources and characteristics and mechanism of action. Here, also we elucidate the results of several pre-clicinical and clinical studies in ARDS and in sepsis and the future directions of these studies.