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Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 Jan;18(1-2):1-16. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEA.2011.0301. Epub 2011 Sep 23.

Initial binding and recellularization of decellularized mouse lung scaffolds with bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells.

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Department of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont 05405, USA.


Recellularization of whole decellularized lung scaffolds provides a novel approach for generating functional lung tissue ex vivo for subsequent clinical transplantation. To explore the potential utility of stem and progenitor cells in this model, we investigated recellularization of decellularized whole mouse lungs after intratracheal inoculation of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). The decellularized lungs maintained structural features of native lungs, including intact vasculature, ability to undergo ventilation, and an extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffold consisting primarily of collagens I and IV, laminin, and fibronectin. However, even in the absence of intact cells or nuclei, a number of cell-associated (non-ECM) proteins were detected using mass spectroscopy, western blots, and immunohistochemistry. MSCs initially homed and engrafted to regions enriched in types I and IV collagen, laminin, and fibronectin, and subsequently proliferated and migrated toward regions enriched in types I and IV collagen and laminin but not provisional matrix (fibronectin). MSCs cultured for up to 1 month in either basal MSC medium or in a small airways growth media (SAGM) localized in both parenchymal and airway regions and demonstrated several different morphologies. However, while MSCs cultured in basal medium increased in number, MSCs cultured in SAGM decreased in number over 1 month. Under both media conditions, the MSCs predominantly expressed genes consistent with mesenchymal and osteoblast phenotype. Despite a transient expression of the lung precursor TTF-1, no other airway or alveolar genes or vascular genes were expressed. These studies highlight the power of whole decellularized lung scaffolds to study functional recellularization with MSCs and other cells.

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