Burlington, VT -
Generation of lung epithelium de novo would be very useful in the treatment of chronic lung diseases. Unfortunately previous attempts to do this have not been extremely successful. In a recent study (Sueblinvong et al. Derivation of Lung Epithelium From Human Cord Blood-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2007 Dec 6) human cord blood stem cells were used to generate lung epithelium in vitro and in vivo.
The investigators generated cord blood derived mesenchymal stem cells by cultivation of adherent cells. The mesenchymal stem cells were subsequently treated with retinoic acid and keratinocyte growth factor, which resulted in the differentiation into cells that expressed various markers of pulmonary epithelium such as CCSP and CFTR.
Injection of the cells into immune deficient mice resulted in some of the cells integrating with the lung and expressing human proteins in the mouse lung.