Lung-Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cell Fates within Lung Cancer
Lung-resident mesenchymal stem cells (LR-MSCs) are non-hematopoietic multipotent stromal cells that predominately reside adventitial within lung blood vessels. Based on their self-renewal and differentiation properties, LR-MSCs turned out to be important regulators of normal lung homeostasis. LR-MSCs exert beneficial effects mainly by local secretion of various growth factors and cytokines that in turn foster pulmonary regeneration including suppression of inflammation. At the same time, MSCs derived from various tissues of origins represent the first choice of cells for cell-based therapeutic applications in clinical medicine. Particularly for various acute as well as chronic lung diseases, the therapeutic applications of exogenous MSCs were shown to mediate beneficial effects, hereby improving lung function and survival. In contrast, endogenous MSCs of normal lungs seem not to be sufficient for lung tissue protection or repair following a pathological trigger; LR-MSCs could even contribute to initiation and/or progression of lung diseases, particularly lung cancer because of their inherent tropism to migrate towards primary tumors and metastatic sites. However, the role of endogenous LR-MSCs to be multipotent tumor-associated (stromal) precursors remains to be unraveled. Here, we summarize the recent knowledge how cancer-educated LR-MSCs impact on lung cancer with a focus on mesenchymal stem cell fates.