Treatment with regulatory T-cells (Tregs), a subset of cells from the immune system, is able to resolve lung fibrosis in a mouse model of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), according to researchers.

Their findings support additional investigation of cell-based therapies to treat IPF in humans.

The study, “Resolution of bleomycin-induced murine pulmonary fibrosis via a splenic lymphocyte subpopulation,” was published in the journal Respiratory Research.

The causes of IPF are still elusive. But the degenerative process of lung scarring (fibrosis) that characterizes the disease is believed to involve lung damage, an abnormal repair response, and excessive secretion by fibroblast cells of proteins that ultimately cause the fibrotic scarring.