Navigation Links
Lung stem cells offer therapeutic clues
Date:10/27/2011

Boston (Oct. 27, 2011)Guided by insights into how mice recover after H1N1 flu, researchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, together with researchers at A*STAR of Singapore, have cloned three distinct stem cells from the human airways and demonstrated that one of these cells can form into the lung's alveoli air sac tissue. What's more, the researchers showed that these same lung stem cells are rapidly deployed in a dynamic process of lung regeneration to combat damage from infection or chronic disease

"These findings suggest new cell- and factor-based strategies for enhancing lung regeneration following acute damage from infection, and even in chronic conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis," said Frank McKeon, professor of cell biology at Harvard Medical School. Other senior authors on the paper include Wa Xian of the Institute of Medical Biology in Singapore and Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Christopher Crum, Director of Women's and Perinatal Pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. The researchers worked as part of an international consortium involving scientists from Singapore and France.

The findings will be reported in the Oct. 28 issue of Cell.

For many years, clinicians have observed that patients who survive acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a form of airway damage involving wholesale destruction of large regions of lung tissue, often recover considerable pulmonary function within six to 12 months. But researchers did not know whether that recovery was due to lung regeneration or to some other kind of adaptive remodeling.

"This study helps clear up the uncertainty," said McKeon. "We have found that the lungs do in fact have a robust potential for regeneration, and we've identified the specific stem cells responsible."

To probe the potential for lung regeneration, Xian, McKeon and colleagues infected mice with a sublethal dosage of a virulent strain of H1N1 influenza A virus. After two weeks of infection, these mice showed a loss of nearly 60 percent of tissue in the lung air sacs after two weeks of infection, butremarkablyby three months, the lungs appeared completely normal by all histological criteria.

These findings demonstrated true lung regeneration, but raised the question of the nature of the stem cells underlying this regenerative process.

Adapting the methods for cloning epidermal skin stem cells pioneered by Howard Green, the George Higginson Professor of Cell Biology at HMS and the 2010 Warren Alpert Foundation Prize recipient, the researchers cloned stem cells from the lung airway in a dish and watched as they differentiated to unusual structures with gene profiles similar to alveoli, the cells in the lung's air sacs.

"This was startling to us," Xian said, "and even more so as we observed the same stem cell populations involved in alveoli formation during the peak of H1N1 infections in mice." The researchers genetically traced the formation of new alveoli to a discrete population of stem cells in the fine endings of the conducting airways that rapidly divide in response to infection and migrate to sites of lung damage.

The scientists were intrigued when molecular dissection of these incipient alveoli revealed the presence of an array of signaling molecules known to control cell behavior, suggesting the possibility that these molecules coordinate the regeneration process itself.

Currently the team is testing the possibility that the secreted factors they observed might promote regeneration, suggesting a therapeutic approach for conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and even asthma. They also foresee the possibility that these distal airway stem cells could contribute to repairing lungs scarred by irreversible fibrosis, conditions resistant to present therapies.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Cameron
david_cameron@hms.harvard.edu
617-432-0441
Harvard Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Jefferson scientists deliver toxic genes to effectively kill pancreatic cancer cells
2. NSF funds new Center for the Physics of Living Cells at Illinois
3. When cells go bad
4. The role of stem cells in renewing the cornea
5. Breast cancer cells recycle to escape death by hormonal therapy
6. Models of eel cells suggest electrifying possibilities
7. Scientists identify a molecule that coordinates the movement of cells
8. Form of Crohns disease traced to disabled gut cells
9. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists trace a novel way cells are disrupted in cancer
10. Researchers design artificial cells that could power medical implants
11. Stabilizing force for good communication between neurons and muscle cells found
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/7/2017)... , Feb. 7, 2017   MedNet Solutions , ... entire spectrum of clinical research, is pleased to announce ... , its innovative, highly flexible and award winning eClinical ... customers. iMedNet is a proven Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ... Data Capture (EDC), but also delivers an entire suite ...
(Date:2/6/2017)... , Feb. 6, 2017 According ... security are driving border authorities to continue to ... reports there are 2143 Automated Border Control (ABC) ... currently deployed at more than 163 ports of ... 2013 to 2016 achieving a combined CAGR of ...
(Date:2/2/2017)... JACKSONVILLE, Fla. , Feb. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... ), a clinical-stage immuno-oncology company specializing in the ... vaccines for the treatment of cancer and metastatic ... multi-gram scale-up and GMP manufacturing of a second ... T-cell vaccine targeting folate receptor alpha. The manufactured ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)...  Driven by consumers, preference towards more natural ... growing categories, finds the recently published U.S. volume ... Multi-regional Market Analysis and Opportunities study by ... "Biotechnology actives are derived from natural ... for skin and hair care applications," explains ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... Pa., Feb. 24, 2017  VWR Corporation (NASDAQ: VWR), the ... laboratory and production customers, today reported its financial results for ... Highlights: 4Q16 record quarterly ... 1.0% on an organic basis. ... an organic basis, while the Americas net sales increased 2.5%, ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... Drug Discovery Services portfolio to include an array of biochemical analyses critical ... reliable data to drive their hit-to-lead and SAR programs, including inhibitor potency and ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, ... strange place for a head lice treatment salon to set ... a Tuscan restaurant and a French bistro on E Madison ... "We aren,t just any old lice clinic, we pride ourselves ... comfortable, and release some of the stigma associated with lice. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: