Immunomodulatory Cell Therapy to Target Cystic Fibrosis Inflammation
Cystic fibrosis (CF) is associated with exaggerated and prolonged inflammation in the lungs, which contributes to lung injury, airway mucus obstruction, bronchiectasis, and loss of lung function. This hyperinflammatory phenotype appears to be caused by an imbalance between the pro- and antiinflammatory regulatory pathways, with heightened proinflammatory stimuli, a decreased counter-regulatory response, and reduced effectiveness of immune cell function and inflammatory resolution. Thus, therapies that can target this inflammatory environment would have a major impact on preventing the progression of lung disease. Because of the complex phenotype of CF inflammation, current antiinflammatory regimens have proven to be inadequate for the targeting of these multiple dysregulated pathways and effects. Several approaches using cell therapies have shown potential therapeutic benefit for the treatment of CF inflammation. This review provides an overview of the immune dysfunctions in CF and current therapeutic regimens; explores the field of cell therapy as a treatment for CF inflammation; and focuses on the various cell types used, their immunomodulatory functions, and the current approaches to mitigate the inflammatory response and reduce the long-term damage for patients with CF.