Basal cells as stem cells of the mouse trachea and human airway epithelium.


Journal Article

The pseudostratified epithelium of the mouse trachea and human airways contains a population of basal cells expressing Trp-63 (p63) and cytokeratins 5 (Krt5) and Krt14. Using a KRT5-CreER(T2) transgenic mouse line for lineage tracing, we show that basal cells generate differentiated cells during postnatal growth and in the adult during both steady state and epithelial repair. We have fractionated mouse basal cells by FACS and identified 627 genes preferentially expressed in a basal subpopulation vs. non-BCs. Analysis reveals potential mechanisms regulating basal cells and allows comparison with other epithelial stem cells. To study basal cell behaviors, we describe a simple in vitro clonal sphere-forming assay in which mouse basal cells self-renew and generate luminal cells, including differentiated ciliated cells, in the absence of stroma. The transcriptional profile identified 2 cell-surface markers, ITGA6 and NGFR, which can be used in combination to purify human lung basal cells by FACS. Like those from the mouse trachea, human airway basal cells both self-renew and generate luminal daughters in the sphere-forming assay.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rock, JR; Onaitis, MW; Rawlins, EL; Lu, Y; Clark, CP; Xue, Y; Randell, SH; Hogan, BLM

Published Date

  • August 4, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 106 / 31

Start / End Page

  • 12771 - 12775

PubMed ID

  • 19625615

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19625615

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0906850106


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States