Objective: While the survival of extremely premature infants has improved over the past decades, the rate of complications – especially for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) – remains unacceptably high. Over the past 50 years, no safe therapy has had a substantial impact on the incidence and severity of BPD.
Methods: This may stem from the multifactorial disease pathogenesis and the increasing lung immaturity. Mesenchymal Stromal Cells (MSCs) display pleiotropic effects and show promising results in neonatal rodents in preventing or rescuing lung injury without adverse effects. Early phase clinical trials are now underway to determine the safety and efficacy of this therapy in extremely premature infants.
Results and Conclusion: This review summarizes our current knowledge about MSCs, their mechanism of action and the results of preclinical studies that provide the rationale for early phase clinical trials and discuss remaining gaps in our knowledge.