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Clin Transl Med. 2014 Jun 17;3:15. doi: 10.1186/2001-1326-3-15. eCollection 2014.

Clinical potentials of human pluripotent stem cells in lung diseases.

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The Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine for the prevention of Human Diseases, University of Texas Medical School at Houston, 1825 Pressler Street/IMM 437D, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


Lung possesses very limited regenerative capacity. Failure to maintain homeostasis of lung epithelial cell populations has been implicated in the development of many life-threatening pulmonary diseases leading to substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide, and currently there is no known cure for these end-stage pulmonary diseases. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and somatic cell-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) possess unlimited self-renewal capacity and great potential to differentiate to various cell types of three embryonic germ layers (ectodermal, mesodermal, and endodermal). Therapeutic use of human ESC/iPSC-derived lung progenitor cells for regeneration of injured or diseased lungs will have an enormous clinical impact. This article provides an overview of recent advances in research on pluripotent stem cells in lung tissue regeneration and discusses technical challenges that must be overcome for their clinical applications in the future.


Differentiation and characterization; Embryonic stem cells; Induced pluripotent stem cells; Lung stem/progenitor cells; and Lung tissue engineering

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