Flowchart and timeline of study design. Control (group C) animals received saline intraperitoneally (ip). LPS group animals received Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide intraperitoneally. CLP group animals were subjected to cecal ligation and puncture. A sham- operated group was used as control for animals undergoing CLP. At day 1, some animals were sacrificed, post acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), to evaluate lung function and histology, while other animals were further randomized into subgroups to receive saline (SAL) or bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BMDMCs, 2 × 106 cells) intravenously (iv). Animals were euthanized at days 1, 3 and 7.