Mesenchymal stem cells exert their anti-asthmatic effects through macrophage modulation in a murine chronic asthma model

Ruth Lee Kim, Ji Young Bang, Jeonghyeon Kim, Yosep Mo, Yujin Kim, Chun Geun Lee, Jack A. Elias, Hye Young Kim, Hye Ryun Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Despite numerous previous studies, the full action mechanism of the pathogenesis of asthma remains undiscovered, and the need for further investigation is increasing in order to identify more effective target molecules. Recent attempts to develop more efficacious treatments for asthma have incorporated mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-based cell therapies. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-asthmatic effects of MSCs primed with Liproxstatin-1, a potent ferroptosis inhibitor. In addition, we sought to examine the changes within macrophage populations and their characteristics in asthmatic conditions. Seven-week-old transgenic mice, constitutively overexpressing lung-specific interleukin (IL)-13, were used to simulate chronic asthma. Human umbilical cord-derived MSCs (hUC-MSCs) primed with Liproxstatin-1 were intratracheally administered four days prior to sampling. IL-13 transgenic mice demonstrated phenotypes of chronic asthma, including severe inflammation, goblet cell hyperplasia, and subepithelial fibrosis. Ly6C+M2 macrophages, found within the pro-inflammatory CD11c+CD11b+ macrophages, were upregulated and showed a strong correlation with lung eosinophil counts. Liproxstatin-1-primed hUC-MSCs showed enhanced ability to downregulate the activation of T helper type 2 cells compared to naïve MSCs in vitro and reduced airway inflammation, particularly Ly6C+M2 macrophages population, and fibrosis in vivo. In conclusion, intratracheal administration is an effective method of MSC delivery, and macrophages hold great potential as an additional therapeutic target for asthma.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9811
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


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