• Open Access

Telocytes in trachea and lungs

Authors

  • Y. Zheng,

    1. Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • Both authors contributed equally to this work.

  • H. Li,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • Both authors contributed equally to this work.

  • C. G. Manole,

    1. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, ‘Carol Davila’ University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
    2. Department of Cellular Medicine, ‘Victor Babes.’ National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
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  • A. Sun,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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  • J. Ge,

    1. Shanghai Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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  • X. Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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Xiangdong WANG, MD, PhD,
Department of Pulmonary Medicine and Biomedical Research Center,
Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University,
Shanghai, China.
Tel.: +86 21 64041990×5420
Fax: +86 21 54961729
E-mail: xiangdong.wang@telia.com

Abstract

We show the existence of a novel type of interstitial cell—telocytes (TC) in mouse trachea and lungs. We used cell cultures, vital stainings, as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). Phase contrast microscopy on cultured cells showed cells with unequivocally characteristic morphology of typical TC (cells with telopodes—Tp). SEM revealed typical TC with two to three Tp—very long and branched cell prolongations. Tp consist of an alternation of thin segments (podomers) and thick segments (podoms). The latter accommodate mitochondria (as shown by Janus Green and MitoTracker), rough endoplasmic reticulum and caveolae. TEM showed characteristic podomers and podoms as well as close relationships with nerve endings and blood capillaries. IHC revealed positive expression of TC for c-kit, vimentin and CD34. In conclusion, this study shows the presence in trachea and lungs of a peculiar type of cells, which fulfils the criteria for TC.

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