Project description:Acute lung injury is characterized by injury to the lung epithelium that leads to impaired resolution of pulmonary edema and also facilitates accumulation of protein-rich edema fluid and inflammatory cells in the distal airspaces of the lung. Recent in vivo and in vitro studies suggest that mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) may have therapeutic value for the treatment of acute lung injury. Here we tested the ability of human allogeneic mesenchymal stem cells to restore epithelial permeability to protein across primary cultures of polarized human alveolar epithelial type II cells after an inflammatory insult. Alveolar epithelial type II cells were grown on a Transwell plate with an air-liquid interface and injured by cytomix, a combination of IL-1beta, TNFalpha, and IFNgamma. Protein permeability measured by (131)I-labeled albumin flux was increased by 5-fold over 24 h after cytokine-induced injury. Co-culture of human MSC restored type II cell epithelial permeability to protein to control levels. Using siRNA knockdown of potential paracrine soluble factors, we found that angiopoietin-1 secretion was responsible for this beneficial effect in part by preventing actin stress fiber formation and claudin 18 disorganization through suppression of NFkappaB activity. This study provides novel evidence for a beneficial effect of MSC on alveolar epithelial permeability to protein.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by alveolar epithelial disruption. Lipoxins (LXs), as so-called "braking signals" of inflammation, are the first mediators identified to have dual anti-inflammatory and inflammatory pro-resolving properties. METHODS:In vivo, lipoxinA4 was administrated intraperitoneally with 1 μg/per mouse after intra-tracheal LPS administration (10 mg/kg). Apoptosis, proliferation and epithelial-mesenchymal transition of AT II cells were measured by immunofluorescence. In vitro, primary human alveolar type II cells were used to model the effects of lipoxin A4 upon proliferation, apoptosis and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. RESULTS:In vivo, lipoxin A4 markedly promoted alveolar epithelial type II cells (AT II cells) proliferation, inhibited AT II cells apoptosis, reduced cleaved caspase-3 expression and epithelial-mesenchymal transition, with the outcome of attenuated LPS-induced lung injury. In vitro, lipoxin A4 increased primary human alveolar epithelial type II cells (AT II cells) proliferation and reduced LPS induced AT II cells apoptosis. LipoxinA4 also inhibited epithelial mesenchymal transition in response to TGF-β1, which was lipoxin receptor dependent. In addition, Smad3 inhibitor (Sis3) and PI3K inhibitor (LY294002) treatment abolished the inhibitory effects of lipoxinA4 on the epithelial mesenchymal transition of primary human AT II cells. Lipoxin A4 significantly downregulated the expressions of p-AKT and p-Smad stimulated by TGF-β1 in primary human AT II cells. CONCLUSION:LipoxinA4 attenuates lung injury via stimulating epithelial cell proliferation, reducing epithelial cell apoptosis and inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
Project description:Prior work has shown that transforming growth factor-? (TGF-?) can mediate transition of alveolar type II cells into mesenchymal cells in mice. Evidence this occurs in humans is limited to immunohistochemical studies colocalizing epithelial and mesenchymal proteins in sections of fibrotic lungs. To acquire further evidence that epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition occurs in the lungs of patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), we studied alveolar type II cells isolated from fibrotic and normal human lung. Unlike normal type II cells, type II cells isolated from the lungs of patients with IPF express higher levels of mRNA for the mesenchymal proteins type I collagen, ?-smooth muscle actin (?-SMA), and calponin. When cultured on Matrigel/collagen, human alveolar type II cells maintain a cellular morphology consistent with epithelial cells and expression of surfactant protein C (SPC) and E-cadherin. In contrast, when cultured on fibronectin, the human type II cells flatten, spread, lose expression of pro- SPC, and increase expression of vimentin, N-cadherin, and ?-SMA; markers of mesenchymal cells. Addition of a TGF-? receptor kinase inhibitor (SB431542) to cells cultured on fibronectin inhibited vimentin expression and maintained pro-SPC expression, indicating persistence of an epithelial phenotype. These data suggest that alveolar type II cells can acquire features of mesenchymal cells in IPF lungs and that TGF-? can mediate this process.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The origin of collagen-producing cells in lung fibrosis is unclear. The involvement of embryonic signaling pathways has been acknowledged and trans-differentiation of epithelial cells is discussed critically. The work presented here investigates the role of TGFB in cytoskeleton remodeling and the expression of Epithelial-Mesenchymal-Transition markers by Alveolar Epithelial Cells Type II and tests the hypothesis if human alveolar epithelial cells are capable of trans-differentiation and production of pro-fibrotic collagen. METHODS:Primary human alveolar epithelial cells type II were extracted from donor tissues and stimulated with TGF? and a TGF?-inhibitor. Transcriptome and pathway analyses as well as validation of results on protein level were conducted. RESULTS:A TGF?-responsive fingerprint was found and investigated for mutual interactions. Interaction modules exhibited enrichment of genes that favor actin cytoskeleton remodeling, differentiation processes and collagen metabolism. Cross-validation of the TGF?-responsive fingerprint in an independent IPF dataset revealed overlap of genes and supported the direction of regulated genes and TGF?-specificity. CONCLUSIONS:Primary human alveolar epithelial cells type II seem undergo a TGF?-dependent phenotypic change, exhibit differential expression of EMT markers in vitro and acquire the potential to produce collagen.
Project description:Alveolar epithelial type II cells (AEC2s) are the facultative progenitors of lung alveoli and serve as the surfactant-producing cells of air-breathing organisms. Although primary human AEC2s are difficult to maintain stably in cell cultures, recent advances have facilitated the derivation of AEC2-like cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) in vitro. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for the directed differentiation of hPSCs into self-renewing AEC2-like cells that can be maintained for up to 1 year in culture as epithelial-only spheres without the need for supporting mesenchymal feeder cells. The month-long protocol requires recapitulation of the sequence of milestones associated with in vivo development of the distal lung, beginning with differentiation of cells into anterior foregut endoderm, which is followed by their lineage specification into NKX2-1+ lung progenitors and then distal/alveolar differentiation to produce progeny that express transcripts and possess functional properties associated with AEC2s.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:This study aimed to isolate and characterize stem/progenitor cells, starting from normal airway epithelia, obtained from human adults. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Cultures of multicellular spheroids were obtained from human lung tissue specimens after mechanical and enzymatic digestion. Tissue-specific markers were detected on their cells by immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent techniques. Ultrastructural morphology of the spheroids (termed as bronchospheres) was evaluated by electron microscopy, gene expression analysis was performed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, and gene down-regulation was analysed by an RNA interference technique. RESULTS:Bronchospheres were found to be composed of cells with high expression of stem cell regulatory genes, which was not or was only weakly detectable in original tissues. Morphological analysis showed that bronchospheres were composed of mixed phenotype cells with type II alveolar and Clara cell features, highlighting their airway resident cell origin. In addition to displaying specific pulmonary and epithelial commitment, bronchospheres showed mesenchymal features. Silencing of the Slug gene, known to play a pivotal role in epithelial-mesenchymal transition processes and which was highly expressed in bronchospheres but not in original tissue, led bronchospheres to gain a differentiated bronchial/alveolar phenotype and to lose the stemness gene expression pattern. CONCLUSIONS:Ours is the first study to describe ex vivo expansion of stem/progenitor cells resident in human lung epithelia, and our results suggest that the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process, still active in a subset of airway cells, may regulate transit of stem/progenitor cells towards epithelial differentiation.
Project description:Acute lung injury (ALI) or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a severe syndrome affecting more than 200,000 patients annually in the U.S. New studies are needed to understand the biological and clinical mechanisms that impair alveolar epithelial function. Also, innovative therapies are needed for the resolution of pulmonary edema in ARDS. We and other investigators have reported that bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are effective in preclinical models of ALI due to their ability to secrete several paracrine factors that can regulate lung endothelial and epithelial permeability, including growth factors, anti-inflammatory cytokines, and antimicrobial peptides. So in this study we will test the therapeutic value of human MSCs in an in vitro model of acute lung injury induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines. We will identify differentially expressed genes in primary cultures of human alveolar epithelial type II cells and human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells using Affymetrix gene expression arrays. Human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and human alveolar epithelial type II cells were co-cultured in a transwell system. The cells were stimulated with cytomix (a combination of different pro-inflammatory cytokines) under different conditions. Cells were harvested for Affymetrix gene expression arrays. Total 25 samples are analyzed, 3~5 replicates are included.
Project description:Recent studies have suggested that bone marrow-derived multipotent mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) may have therapeutic applications in multiple clinical disorders including myocardial infarction, diabetes, sepsis, and hepatic and acute renal failure. Here, we tested the therapeutic capacity of human MSCs to restore alveolar epithelial fluid transport and lung fluid balance from acute lung injury (ALI) in an ex vivo perfused human lung preparation injured by E. coli endotoxin. Intra-bronchial instillation of endotoxin into the distal airspaces resulted in pulmonary edema with the loss of alveolar epithelial fluid transport measured as alveolar fluid clearance. Treatment with allogeneic human MSCs or its conditioned medium given 1 h following endotoxin-induced lung injury reduced extravascular lung water, improved lung endothelial barrier permeability and restored alveolar fluid clearance. Using siRNA knockdown of potential paracrine soluble factors, secretion of keratinocyte growth factor was essential for the beneficial effect of MSCs on alveolar epithelial fluid transport, in part by restoring amiloride-dependent sodium transport. In summary, treatment with allogeneic human MSCs or the conditioned medium restores normal fluid balance in an ex vivo perfused human lung injured by E. coli endotoxin.
Project description:Development of an anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic is hindered by the lack of physiologically relevant model systems that can recapitulate host-viral interactions in human cell types, specifically the epithelium of the lung. Here, we compare induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived alveolar and airway epithelial cells to primary lung epithelial cell controls, focusing on expression levels of genes relevant for COVID-19 disease modeling. iPSC-derived alveolar epithelial type II-like cells (iAT2s) and iPSC-derived airway epithelial lineages express key transcripts associated with lung identity in the majority of cells produced in culture. They express <i>ACE2</i> and <i>TMPRSS2</i>, transcripts encoding essential host factors required for SARS-CoV-2 infection, in a minor subset of each cell sub-lineage, similar to frequencies observed in primary cells. In order to prepare human culture systems that are amenable to modeling viral infection of both the proximal and distal lung epithelium, we adapt iPSC-derived alveolar and airway epithelial cells to two-dimensional air-liquid interface cultures. These engineered human lung cell systems represent sharable, physiologically relevant platforms for SARS-CoV-2 infection modeling and may therefore expedite the development of an effective pharmacologic intervention for COVID-19.
Project description:Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic scarring disease in which aging, environmental exposure(s) and genetic susceptibility have been implicated in disease pathogenesis, however, the causes and mechanisms of the progressive fibrotic cascade are still poorly understood. As epithelial–mesenchymal interactions are essential for normal wound healing, through human 2D and 3D in vitro studies, we tested the hypothesis that IPF fibroblasts (IPFFs) dysregulate alveolar epithelial homeostasis. Conditioned media from IPFFs exaggerated the wound-healing response of primary human Type II alveolar epithelial cells (AECs). Furthermore, AECs co-cultured with IPFFs exhibited irregular epithelialization compared with those co-cultured with control fibroblasts (NHLFs) or AECs alone, suggesting that epithelial homeostasis is dysregulated in IPF as a consequence of the abnormal secretory phenotype of IPFFs. Secretome analysis of IPFF conditioned media and functional studies identified the matricellular protein, SPARC, as a key mediator in the epithelial–mesenchymal paracrine signaling, with increased secretion of SPARC by IPFFs promoting persistent activation of alveolar epithelium via an integrin/focal adhesion/cellular-junction axis resulting in disruption of epithelial barrier integrity and increased macromolecular permeability. These findings suggest that in IPF fibroblast paracrine signaling promotes persistent alveolar epithelial activation, so preventing normal epithelial repair responses and restoration of tissue homeostasis. Furthermore, they identify SPARC-mediated paracrine signaling as a potential therapeutic target to promote the restoration of lung epithelial homoestasis in IPF patients.