Mesenchymal stem cells and serelaxin synergistically abrogate established airway fibrosis in an experimental model of chronic allergic airways disease Academic Article uri icon


  • This study determined if the anti-fibrotic drug, serelaxin (RLN), could augment human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell (MSC)-mediated reversal of airway remodeling and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) associated with chronic allergic airways disease (AAD/asthma). Female Balb/c mice subjected to the 9-week model of ovalbumin (OVA)-induced chronic AAD were either untreated or treated with MSCs alone, RLN alone or both combined from weeks 9-11. Changes in airway inflammation (AI), epithelial thickness, goblet cell metaplasia, transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 expression, myofibroblast differentiation, subepithelial and total lung collagen deposition, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) expression, and AHR were then assessed. MSCs alone modestly reversed OVA-induced subepithelial and total collagen deposition, and increased MMP-9 levels above that induced by OVA alone (all p<0.05 vs OVA group). RLN alone more broadly reversed OVA-induced epithelial thickening, TGF-β1 expression, myofibroblast differentiation, airway fibrosis and AHR (all p<0.05 vs OVA group). Combination treatment further reversed OVA-induced AI and airway/lung fibrosis compared to either treatment alone (all p<0.05 vs either treatment alone), and further increased MMP-9 levels. RLN appeared to enhance the therapeutic effects of MSCs in a chronic disease setting; most likely a consequence of the ability of RLN to limit TGF-β1-induced matrix synthesis complemented by the MMP-promoting effects of MSCs.


  • Royce, Simon G
  • Shen, Matthew
  • Patel, Krupesh P
  • Huuskes, Brooke M
  • Ricardo, Sharon D
  • Samuel, Chrishan S

publication date

  • 2015