Effects of Bone Marrow–Derived Mononuclear Cells From Healthy or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Donors on Recipient Lung-Injured Mice

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The advantage of using autologous bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells to treat acute respiratory distress syndrome patients is to prevent immunological rejection. However, bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells may be altered by different acute respiratory distress syndrome etiologies, resulting in questionable efficacy and thus limited clinical application. We aimed to investigate the effects of bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells obtained from healthy and acute respiratory distress syndrome donors on pulmonary and extrapulmonary acute respiratory distress syndrome.


Prospective, randomized, controlled experimental study.


University research laboratory.


Two hundred and twenty-five C57BL/6 mice.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome was induced by Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide intratracheally (ARDSp) or intraperitoneally (ARDSexp). Control mice (Healthy) received saline solution intratracheally (Cp) or intraperitoneally (Cexp). After 24 hours, whole bone marrow cells were analyzed in vitro: 1) colony-forming unit–fibroblasts and 2) hematopoietic stem cells, neutrophils, T helper lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, and nonhematopoietic precursors. After cell characterization, all groups received saline or bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells (2 × 106), obtained from Cp, Cexp, ARDSp, and ARDSexp donor mice, IV, on day 1.

Measurements and Main Results:

On day 1, in ARDSp, different patterns of colony formation were found, with nonstromal cells (mainly neutrophils) predominating over fibroblastoid colonies. In ARDSexp, irregular colony-forming unit–fibroblasts morphology with dispersed proliferating colonies and a greater number of hematopoietic stem cells were observed. In ARDSp, colony-forming unit–fibroblasts count was higher but not measurable in ARDSexp. In ARDSp, monocytes and T lymphocytes were increased and hematopoietic precursor cells reduced, with no significant changes in ARDSexp. On day 7, bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells improved survival and attenuated changes in lung mechanics, alveolar collapse, inflammation, pulmonary fibrosis, and apoptosis in the lung and distal organs, regardless of donor type.


Bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells from ARDSp and ARDSexp donors showed different characteristics but were as effective as cells obtained from healthy donors in reducing inflammation and remodeling, suggesting the utility of autologous transplant of bone marrow–derived mononuclear cells in the clinical setting.

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