Scientists Find New Type Of Lung Cells With Regenerative Properties

Jun, 2022 - By SMI

Scientists Find New Type Of Lung Cells With Regenerative Properties

A novel type of lung cell is found deep within human lungs, which could play an important role in human lung diseases

The human lung is different from its mouse counterpart, which results in a different distal airway structure that a disease pathology affects in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Now a group of researchers found a new type of lung cell that apparently exist in deep inside human lungs and it could play an important role in regeneration of other cells and could be used to develop new treatments for such lung diseases.

The scientists discovered these cells as they studied gene functions of the lung cells received from human donors. The team found these new type of lung cells called respiratory airway secretory cells (RASCs) located in branches of distal airway where they generated proteins to create the fluid lining the airways. The team inspected it closely and found a link to AT2 cells that work as stem cells for the air sacs of lungs called alveoli. The team found that RASCs can distinguish into AT2 cells which further differentiate into active cells of this alveoli. Interesting fact was that these cells are not present in mice lung cells, which indicates the limitations of animals engineered for some disease and treatments.

Furthermore, according to the scientists, this could be implicated for commonly occurring lung disease such as COPD where smoking often triggers this condition as it damages the alveoli affecting airflow through lungs of a patient. In this conditions AT2 cells become dysfunctional. However, the researchers discovered that in samples of lung cells derived from patients suffering from COPD and those who used to smoke in past  and do not have this condition, AT2 cells were showing irregularities that indicated problems occurring from RASCs unable to differentiate into AT2 cells. These findings are likely to make RASCs a new objective to develop treatment for such lung diseases.

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