RATIONALE: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) play a crucial role in both the maintenance of pulmonary integrity and the pathogenesis of lung disease. Lung involvement has been reported in patients with the filamin A (FLNA) gene mutation. Considering FLNA's role in the intrinsic mechanical properties of MSC, we characterized MSCs isolated from FLNA-defective lung tissue, in order to define their pathogenetic role in pulmonary damage.
PATIENT CONCERNS: A male infant developed significant lung disease resulting in emphysematous lesions and perivascular and interstitial fibrosis. He also exhibited general muscular hypotonia, bilateral inguinal hernia, and deformities of the lower limbs (pes tortus congenitalis and hip dysplasia). Following lobar resection, chronic respiratory failure occurred.
DIAGNOSIS: Genetic testing was performed during the course of his clinical care and revealed a new pathogenic variant of the FLNA gene c.7391_7403del; (p.Val2464AlafsTer5). Brain magnetic resonance imaging revealed periventricular nodular heterotopia.
INTERVENTIONS AND OUTCOMES: Surgical thoracoscopic lung biopsy was performed in order to obtain additional data on the pathological pulmonary features. A small portion of the pulmonary tissue was used for MSC expansion. Morphology, immunophenotype, differentiation capacity, and proliferative growth were evaluated. Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSC) were employed as a control. MSCs presented the typical MSC morphology and phenotype while exhibiting higher proliferative capacity (P <.001) and lower migration potential (P=.02) compared to control BM-MSC.
LESSONS: The genetic profile and altered features of the MSCs isolated from FLNA-related pediatric lung tissue could be directly related to defects in cell migration during embryonic lung development and pulmonary damage described in FLNA-defective patients.