Stem Cells for Asthma

A person's airways become inflamed, narrow and produce larger amounts of mucus than normal, making breathing difficult.

What is it?

Asthma is a chronic disease that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, usually reversible, in response to certain stimuli.

Not all of the things that can cause asthma are known, but genetic, environmental and occupational factors have been linked to the development of asthma. A medical examination of lung function and screening for allergies can help establish the diagnosis.

Although asthma can appear at any age, it is more common for it to debut in childhood, when it is usually associated with an allergic component.

Signs & Symptoms

An asthma attack may include coughing, chest tightness, wheezing and shortness of breath.

An asthma attack can occur when exposed to “asthma triggers” such as:

  • tobacco smoke
  • dust mites
  • pet dander or fur
  • pollen
  • mold
  • smoke


For a correct diagnosis and treatment of bronchial asthma it is essential to have a multidisciplinary team (pulmonologists, allergists and, sometimes, otorhinolaryngologists and gastroenterologists).

Several diagnostic tests will be necessary, depending on the clinical history and physical examination:

  • Methacholine challenge test
  • Spirometry with bronchodilation test.
  • Provocation test with exercise with inhalation of cold air.
  • Radiological tests (usually X-rays) of the chest and paranasal sinuses.
  • Otolaryngological examination
  • Allergy tests


Emergency symptoms that need prompt medical attention include:

  • Blue-colored lips and face
  • Severe drowsiness or confusion
  • Rapid pulse
  • sweating

Complications of asthma can be severe, for example:

  • Death
  • Decreased ability to exercise and
  • take part in other activities
  • Lack of sleep due to nighttime symptoms
  • Permanent changes in lung function
  • Persistent cough
  • Difficulty breathing requiring breathing assistance (ventilator)

Stem Cells

Current asthma treatment options can effectively suppress symptoms and control the inflammatory process; however, they cannot modulate the dysregulated immune response.

MSCs are able to reduce airway inflammation in acute asthma and protect against pathological airway remodeling by suppressing inflammatory infiltrates and mucus secretion.

MSCs have been shown to decrease bronchial hypersensitivity and contribute to markedly improved lung function.