Efficient intratracheal delivery of airway epithelial cells in mice and pigs.
Cellular therapy via direct intratracheal delivery has gained interest as a novel therapeutic strategy for treating various pulmonary diseases including cystic fibrosis lung disease. However, concerns such as insufficient cell engraftment in lungs and lack of large animal model data remain to be resolved. This study aimed to establish a simple method for evaluating cell retention in lungs and to develop reproducible approaches for efficient cell delivery into mouse and pig lungs. Human lung epithelial cells including normal human bronchial/tracheal epithelial (NHBE) cells and human lung epithelial cell line A549 were infected with pSicoR-green fluorescent protein (GFP) lentivirus. GFP-labeled NHBE cells were delivered via a modified intratracheal cell instillation method into the lungs of C57BL/6J mice. Two days following cell delivery, GFP ELISA-based assay revealed a substantial cell-retention efficiency (10.48 ± 2.86%, n = 7) in mouse lungs preinjured with 2% polidocanol. When GFP-labeled A549 cells were transplanted into Yorkshire pig lungs with a tracheal intubation fiberscope, a robust initial cell attachment (22.32% efficiency) was observed at 24 h. In addition, a lentiviral vector was developed to induce the overexpression and apical localization of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-GFP fusion proteins in NHBE cells as a means of ex vivo CFTR gene transfer in nonprogenitor (relatively differentiated) lung epithelial cells. These results have demonstrated the convenience and efficiency of direct delivery of exogenous epithelial cells to lungs in mouse and pig models and provided important background for future preclinical evaluation of intratracheal cell transplantation to treat lung diseases.
Gui, L; Qian, H; Rocco, KA; Grecu, L; Niklason, LE
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