INVITED REVIEW SERIES: STEM CELLS AND THE LUNG
Stem cells: A recapitulation of development
- The Authors: Yuben Moodley is Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Consultant Respiratory Physician at Royal Perth Hospital. His research interests include cell therapies for lung disease and investigating mechanisms of chronic lung disease. Philip Thompson is Winthrop Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Western Australia, Director of the Lung Institute of Western Australia (LIWA), Head of the LIWA Genetics Unit and Consultant Respiratory Physician at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. Professor Thompson has made significant clinical and basic science contributions to the study of airways disease. David Warburton is Professor of Surgery at the Pediatrics Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology, Keck School of Medicine, The Saban Research Institute, Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He has made seminal contributions to the field of lung development. His present research interests include developmental biology of the embryonic and foetal lung including branching morphogenesis, cytodifferentiation and alveolization. In addition, his laboratory is investigating injury response and repair of the developing lung, including and the identification of pulmonary stem cells in mechanisms of injury repair.
- Associate Editor: Darryl Knight
Pluripotent stem cells are cells that can differentiate into any tissue from all germ layers and include embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent cells (iPS). Embryonic stem cells are derived from 8-day blastocysts obtained from unutilized embryos following in vitro fertilization, while iPS is obtained following transfection of dermal fibroblasts with pluripotent genes (sex determining region Y-binding, Kruppel-like factor 4, octamer-binding transcription factor 4 and c-Myc). The major challenge is to differentiate these cells into lung epithelium for therapeutic applications as well as to model lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis. In this review, the developmental pathways of the lung and how these pathways have been recapitulated in vitro to induce differentiation of pluripotent cells to lung epithelium were examined.