• Tracheal epithelial cell;
  • Temperature-sensitive SV40 large T-antigen;
  • Non-ciliated secretory cell;
  • Genetic network


A tracheal epithelial cell line RTEC11 was established from transgenic rats harboring temperature-sensitive simian virus 40 large T-antigen. The cells grew continuously at a permissive temperature of 33 °C but not at a non-permissive temperature of 39 °C. Morphological and functional investigations demonstrated that the cells were polarized epithelial cells maintaining a regulated permeability barrier function. Interestingly, the expression levels of Muc1 (mucin 1) and Scgb1a1 (uteroglobin), non-ciliated secretory cell markers, and Tubb4 (tubulin beta 4), a ciliated cell marker, were significantly increased under the cell growth-restricted condition. Global gene expression and computational network analyses demonstrated a significant genetic network associated with cellular development and differentiation in cells cultured at the non-permissive temperature. The tracheal epithelial cell line RTEC11 with unique characteristics should be useful as an in vitro model for studies of the physiological functions and gene expression of tracheal epithelial cells.