Growing Stem Cells Into Lung Tissue

An example of work that lays the foundations for lung tissue engineering, which has been lagging behind advances for other organs: "How do you grow stem cells into lungs? The question has puzzled scientists for years. First you need the right recipe, and it took [researchers] seven years of trial and error and painstaking science to come up with it. ... Some tissues, like muscle and nerves, are relatively easy to grow, but others, including liver, lung, thyroid, and pancreas, have been much more difficult. These troublesome tissues all spring from the endoderm, the innermost layer of an early embryo. The endoderm forms when an embryo is about three weeks old and differentiates into organs as early as five weeks. Somehow, in these two weeks the endoderm transforms into differentiated organs as diverse as the lungs and the stomach. ... [Researchers] decided to create a knock-in reporter gene that would glow green during the 'fate decision' - the moment when the stem cells expressed a gene called Nkx2-1 and thereby took a step toward becoming lungs. This allowed the team to track the cells as they developed, mapping each of the six critical decisions on the path to lung tissue. ... Once [the] team had grown what appeared to be lung cells, they had to make sure they had the recipe right. They took samples of mouse lungs and rinsed them with detergent until they became cell-free lung-shaped scaffolds. They seeded one lung with 15-day-old homegrown lung cells that they had purified from stem cells. As a control, they seeded another lung with undifferentiated embryonic stem cells. Within 10 days after seeding, the lung cells organized themselves and populated the lung, creating a pattern recognizable [as] lung tissue. ... A happy side effect of the discovery was that the scientists also mapped out the road from stem cell to thyroid. [The] thyroid, it turns out, also comes from the endoderm layer, deriving from a progenitor that expresses the same key gene as lung progenitors. [The] work will likely have a huge impact on lung stem cell researchers, who have been waiting for a discovery like this to propel their research on inherited lung disease."



This is a wonderfully hopefully news article on stem cell research. I hope and pray that it will be able to be used on humans very shortly. I would like to offer myself as the first human for this first trial.
Janice Hunt
Madison, Wisconsin

Posted by: Janice Hunt at April 10th, 2012 7:12 PM

I'm always serching for nformation for what is possibly in the future for Lund problems.Recently looked into LVRS, I not a good candidate, 70 yrs old, copd but in physically good health exercise 4 days week. eorking on jogging on oxygen with help of jogging stroller nd 3 tanks. have completed 5k,not fancy,but not lst either.

Posted by: Dahl White at June 4th, 2012 12:48 PM

My wife has been diagnosed with COPD and would be interested in any stem cell studies for her lungs. She is only 44 years old and the doctors say there is nothing they can do for her. She is willing to participate. Thank you.

Posted by: Mark Sanders at December 27th, 2012 9:38 PM
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