Cells derived from the circulation contribute to the repair of lung injury

Shinji Abe, Craig Boyer, Xiangde Liu, Qiang Wen Fu, Tetsu Kobayashi, Qiuhong Fang, Xingqi Wang, Mitsuyoshi Hashimoto, J. Graham Sharp, Stephen I. Rennard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

139 Scopus citations


Bone marrow (stem/progenitor) cells have been shown to "differ- entiate" into cells in multiple tissues, including lung. A low number of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells also circulate in peripheral blood. The physiologic roles of these cells are still uncertain. This study was designed to test, using parabiotic mice that were joined surgically, whether stem/progenitor cells in blood contributed to the regeneration of lung after injury. Parabiotic mice were generated surgically by joining green fluorescent protein transgenic mice and wild-type littermates. These mice developed a common circulation (approximately 50% green cells in blood) by 2 weeks after surgery. The wild-type mouse was either uninjured or lethally irradiated or received intratracheal elastase or the combination of radiation with intratracheal elastase injection. Radiation or the combination of radiation with elastase significantly increased the proportion of bright green cells in the lungs of the wild-type mice. Morphologically, interstitial monocytes/macrophages, subepithelial fibroblast-like interstitial cells, and additionally type 1 alveolar epithelial cells immunostained for green fluorescent protein in wild-type mice. Approximately 5 to 20% of lung fibroblasts primary cultured from injured wild-type mice were green fluorescent protein expressing cells, indicating their blood derivation. This study demonstrates that stem/progenitor cells in blood contribute to the repair of lung injury in irradiated mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1158-1163
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004


  • Lung repair
  • Parabiosis
  • Stem/progenitor cell in blood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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