The Life of Breath: stem cells of the adult lung
There have been recent exciting advances in our understanding of the stem and progenitor cells of the mammalian lung. Classic studies, including genetic lineage tracing experiments in the mouse using cell-specific Cre drivers, have shown relatively slow cell turnover and replacement of the respiratory epithelium at steady state. However, when cells are damaged by infection or toxic agents, the previously quiescent progenitor populations are activated to promote repair. Injury models have also revealed evidence for an unexpected level of epithelial cell “plasticity” in which differentiated cells change their phenotype and give rise to either new stem cells or different cell types. Dr. Hogan’s lab uses clonal 3D in vitro organoid cultures to identify different populations of stem cells and the niche in which they reside, and to screen for factors promoting proliferation and differentiation at steady state and during injury-induced repair.
The page was last updated on Thursday, March 17, 2016 - 12:53pm