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Stem Cells International
Volume 2012, Article ID 709763, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/709763
Review Article

Amnion Epithelial Cells as a Candidate Therapy for Acute and Chronic Lung Injury

The Ritchie Centre, Monash Institute of Medical Research and Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Southern Clinical School and Monash Medical Centre, Monash University, 246 Clayton Road, Clayton, VIC 3168, Australia

Received 19 December 2011; Revised 8 February 2012; Accepted 15 February 2012

Academic Editor: Markus Hengstschläger

Copyright © 2012 Ryan J. Hodges et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Acute and chronic lung injury represents a major and growing global burden of disease. For many of these lung diseases, the damage is irreparable, exhausting the host’s ability to regenerate new lung, and current therapies are simply supportive rather than restorative. Cell-based therapies offer the promise of tissue regeneration for many organs. In this paper, we examine the potential application of amnion epithelial cells, derived from the term placenta, to lung regeneration. We discuss their unique properties of plasticity and immunomodulation, reviewing the experimental evidence that amnion epithelial cells can prevent and repair lung injury, offering the potential to be applied to both neonatal, childhood, and adult lung disease. It is amazing to suggest that the placenta may offer renewed life after birth as well as securing new life before.