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Evidence for proliferation and incorporation of airway-delivered donor type 2 cells in lungs of recipient mice following intratracheal bleomycin

Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Poster Session IV

2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center, Building 45




  • PM Wang
  • WJ Martin II


As a model of cell-based therapy for acute lung injury, we harvested alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells from wild type or GFP male adult mice and airway delivered 10^6 cells into bleomycin-treated recipient lungs of female adult mice. We monitored the donor cells pre-labeled with DiI or with GFP expression in recipient lungs and identified AT2 cells by immunostaining with surfactant protein C (SPC) at day 6 and 18-21 following bleomycin. We found that donor AT2 cells co-expressed Ki67, a marker for proliferation, indicating proliferation of them in recipient lungs. Also, donor AT2 Ki67 (+) cell increased as a function of time in bleomycin-treated lungs but not in saline-treated lungs. In a separate experiment, we counted Ki67 (+) cells from 10 randomly selected imaging regions for each lung at day 21 following bleomycin (1.67 U/kg). The Ki67 (+) cell number in bleomycin-treated mice with airway delivery of donor AT2 cells was significantly higher than that without airway delivery of these cells (p<0.01). Furthermore, adherens and gap junctions expressed between the engrafted donor AT2 cells and the recipient alveolar cells, indicating that these cells incorporate within alveolar structures. These results suggest AT2 cells act as repair cells during acute lung injury.

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