Genetic comparison of mouse lung telocytes with mesenchymal stem cells and fibroblasts

Authors

  • Yonghua Zheng,

    1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    2. Shanghai Respiratory Research Institute, Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • These authors share co-first authorship and equally contributed to the study
  • Miaomiao Zhang,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • These authors share co-first authorship and equally contributed to the study
  • Mengjia Qian,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • These authors share co-first authorship and equally contributed to the study
  • Lingyan Wang,

    1. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • V. B. Cismasiu,

    1. Division of Advanced Studies, “Victor Babeş” National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
    2. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
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    • These authors contributed equally to this work.
  • Chunxue Bai,

    1. Department of Respiratory Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    2. Shanghai Respiratory Research Institute, Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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  • L. M. Popescu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Advanced Studies, “Victor Babeş” National Institute of Pathology, Bucharest, Romania
    2. Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania
    • Department of Respiratory Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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  • Xiangdong Wang

    Corresponding author
    1. Shanghai Respiratory Research Institute, Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    2. Shanghai Key Laboratory of Organ Transplantation, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
    • Department of Respiratory Medicine, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
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Correspondence to: Xiangdong WANG, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Respiratory Medicine, Biomedical Research Center, Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China.

Tel.: +86 21 64041990-5420

Fax: +86 21 54961729

E-mail: xiangdong.wang@clintransmed.com

L. M. POPESCU, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, “Carol Davila” University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Bucharest, Romania.

E-mail: LMP@jcmm.org

Abstract

Telocytes (TCs) are interstitial cells with telopodes – very long prolongations that establish intercellular contacts with various types of cells. Telocytes have been found in many organs and various species and have been characterized ultrastructurally, immunophenotypically and electrophysiologically (www.telocytes.com). Telocytes are distributed through organ stroma forming a three-dimensional network in close contacts with blood vessels, nerve bundles and cells of the local immune system. Moreover, it has been shown that TCs express a broad range of microRNAs, such as pro-angiogenic and stromal-specific miRs. In this study, the gene expression profile of murine lung TCs is compared with other differentiated interstitial cells (fibroblasts) and with stromal stem/progenitor cells. More than 2000 and 4000 genes were found up- or down-regulated, respectively, in TCs as compared with either MSCs or fibroblasts. Several components or regulators of the vascular basement membrane are highly expressed in TCs, such as Nidogen, Collagen type IV and Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase 3 (TIMP3). Given that TCs locate in close vicinity of small vessels and capillaries, the data suggest the implication of TCs in vascular branching. Telocytes express also matrix metalloproteases Mmp3 and Mmp10, and thus could regulate extracellular matrix during vascular branching and de novo vessel formation. In conclusion, our data show that TCs are not fibroblasts, as the ultrastructure, immunocytochemistry and microRNA assay previously indicated. Gene expression profile demonstrates that TCs are functionally distinct interstitial cells with specific roles in cell signalling, tissue remodelling and angiogenesis.

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