Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells protect lungs from smoke inhalation injury by differentiating into alveolar epithelial cells via Notch signaling

  • Yuan Liang
  • Cunping Yin
  • Xi Lu
  • Hua Jiang
  • Faguang JinEmail author


To examine the protective effect of transplanting bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) in treating lung injury induced by smoke exposure and to investigate the underlying mechanisms of this protection. SD rats were randomly divided into four groups: normal group, normal + BMSCGFP group, smoke group, and smoke + BMSCGFP group. To detect lung injury, we measured arterial blood gas, the wet-to-dry weight ratio, and levels of interleukin-1β, tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and interleukin-13 in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and lung tissues. We also conducted histopathology examinations. The protein markers of alveolar epithelial cells were measured to determine the BMSC differentiation. The protein levels of Notch1, Jagged-1, and Hes-1 also were detected. In the present study, BMSC transplantation significantly decreased the wet-dry weight ratio of the lung, reduced the production of inflammatory mediators, and alleviated lung injury simply through differentiating into alveolar type II cells and alveolar type I cells. Western blot analysis confirmed that the protein expression of Notch-1, Jagged-1, and Hes-1 increased significantly after systemic BMSC transplantation. No significant difference was observed between the normal group and the normal + BMSCGFP group. Our findings indicate that systemic transplantation of BMSCs alleviated lung injury induced by smoke exposure, which may be associated with BMSCs’ ability to differentiate into alveolar-type cells via the Notch signaling pathway.


Alveolar epithelial cells bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells differentiation lung injury Notch signaling smoke inhalation 



This study is supported by funds from military health research projects (14BJ255).


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuan Liang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Cunping Yin
    • 3
  • Xi Lu
    • 1
  • Hua Jiang
    • 1
  • Faguang Jin
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Respiration, Tangdu HospitalThe Fourth Military Medical UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Department of GeriatricsKunming General HospitalKunmingChina
  3. 3.Department of Vascular SurgeryKunming General HospitalKunmingChina

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