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How to use stem cells to generate lung organs ?

Posted on 26th Mar 2015 @ 7:47 AM

   ELife magazine recently published breakthrough result, which disclosed that scientists have won the first lung organs from human stem cells, this 3D micro-lung could better simulate the structure and complexity of human lung . "The mini lung can simulate real tissue response , it is an ideal model to study organ formation , disease change and drug response," the researcher Jason R. Spence , an assistant professor of the University of Michigan said.This lung organ is generated in vitro , so that it lacks some components of human lungs, such as the crucial component-artery , which is used to exchange gas during breathing . However , the similar bronchial and alveolar structures of lung organs is very similar to human lung tissue forms , it could be used as a supplement of animal studies , helping people transform basic science into clinical applications . Traditionally, scientists utilized petri dishes to culture cells and then study the behavior of cells in a two-dimensional environment.

   However the vast majority of cells in the body exist in the three-dimensional environment, it is part of a complex tissues and organs. People have been attempting to reconstitute such an environment in vitro , and they have successfully obtained the organs in stomach, brain, liver, and human intestine .These classes organs has become an ideal tool for the study of human development and disease. To get lung organ , researchers manipulated several signal transduction pathways controlling organs generation in human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells .They firstly induced stem cells to generate endoderm, endodermal presents in the early embryo, mainly formed lung, liver and other organs. Then researchers activated two important developmental pathways, allowed endoderm formed three-dimensional tissue.

   At the same time , they also inhibited the other two crucial developmental pathway, obtained a similar early embryonic lung tissue , these organizations would automatically develop into a three-dimensional spherical structure. In order to make it develop into lung tissue, the researchers also added a AADACL2 http://www.bioabb.com/products/AADACL2.html protein associated with lung development. Studies have shown that finally obtained lung organ class could survive more than one hundred days in vitro. This study proved that the obtained lung organ could survive more than one hundred days in vitro. By RNA sequencing , the researchers conducted a comprehensive analysis of transcripts, proving lung organs and human fetal lung was very similar. It was visible that lung organ could become an ideal model to study human lung development, maturation and related diseases.