Transplantation of airway epithelial stem/progenitor cells: A future for cell-based therapy

Academic Article


  • Cell therapy has the potential to cure disease through replacement of malfunctioning cells. Although the tissue stem cell (TSC) is thought to be the optimal therapeutic cell, transplantation of TSC/progenitor cell mixtures has saved lives. We previously purified the mouse tracheobronchial epithelial TSCs and reported that in vitro amplification generated numerous TSCs. However, these cultures also contained TSC-derived progenitor cells and TSC repurification by flow cytometry compromised TSC self-renewal. These limitations prompted us to determine if aTSC/progenitor cell mixture would repopulate the injured airway epithelium. We developed a cell transplantation protocol and demonstrate that transplanted mouse and human tracheobronchial epithelial TSC/progenitor cell mixtures are 20-25% of airway epithelial cells, actively contribute to epithelial repair, and persist for at least 43 days. At 2 weeks after transplantation, TSCs/progenitor cells differentiated into the three major epithelial cell types: basal, secretory, and ciliated. We conclude that cell therapy that uses adult tracheobronchial TSCs/progenitor cells is an effective therapeutic option.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ghosh M; Ahmad S; White CW; Reynolds SD
  • Start Page

  • 1
  • End Page

  • 10
  • Volume

  • 56
  • Issue

  • 1