Mesenchymal stem cells may ameliorate inflammation in an ex vivo model of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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von Bahr, V
Millar, JE
Malfertheiner, MV
Ki, KK
Passmore, MR
Bartnikowski, N
Redd, MA
Cavaye, M
Suen, JY
McAuley, DF
Fraser, JF
Griffith University Author(s)
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Introduction: Mesenchymal stem cells exhibit immunomodulatory properties which are currently being investigated as a novel treatment option for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. However, the feasibility and efficacy of mesenchymal stem cell therapy in the setting of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is poorly understood. This study aimed to characterise markers of innate immune activation in response to mesenchymal stem cells during an ex vivo simulation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Methods: Ex vivo extracorporeal membrane oxygenation simulations (n = 10) were conducted using a commercial extracorporeal circuit with a CO2-enhanced fresh gas supply and donor human whole blood. Heparinised circuits (n = 4) were injected with 40 × 106-induced pluripotent stem cell–derived human mesenchymal stem cells, while the remainder (n = 6) acted as controls. Simulations were maintained, under physiological conditions, for 240 minutes. Circuits were sampled at 15, 30, 60, 120 and 240 minutes and assessed for levels of interleukin-1β, interleukin-6, interleukin-8, interleukin-10, tumour necrosis factor-α, transforming growth factor-β1, myeloperoxidase and α-Defensin-1. In addition, haemoglobin, platelet and leukocyte counts were performed. Results: There was a trend towards reduced levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines in mesenchymal stem cell–treated circuits and a significant increase in transforming growth factor-β1. Blood cells and markers of neutrophil activation were reduced in mesenchymal stem cell circuits during the length of the simulation. As previously reported, the addition of mesenchymal stem cells resulted in a reduction of flow and increased trans-oxygenator pressures in comparison to controls. Conclusions: The addition of mesenchymal stem cells during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation may cause an increase in transforming growth factor-β1. This is despite their ability to adhere to the membrane oxygenator. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.

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Cardiovascular medicine and haematology

extracorporeal membrane oxygenation


innate immunity

mesenchymal stem cells

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von Bahr, V; Millar, JE; Malfertheiner, MV; Ki, KK; Passmore, MR; Bartnikowski, N; Redd, MA; Cavaye, M; Suen, JY; McAuley, DF; Fraser, JF, Mesenchymal stem cells may ameliorate inflammation in an ex vivo model of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Perfusion, 2019, 34 (1_suppl), pp. 15-21