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2010 Annual Meeting Abstracts

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Implantation of 3-D Differentiated Pulmonary Stem Cells
*Christine Finck1, *Blair Roszell2
1Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT;2University of Connecticut Medical Center, Farmington, CT

Objective: Engraftment of engineered lung constructs could provide a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of pediatric and adult pulmonary diseases.
Design: Pluripotent murine embryonic stem cells were differentiated into distal airway cells, labeled with cell tracker, admixed with collagen or Matrigel 3-D hydrogels and subcutaneously implanted on the back of SCID beige mice. Controls were mice with Matrigel or collagen hydrogels without cells.
Setting: 3 mice per condition. Gels were harvested after 6 days.
Outcomes Measures: Routine histology and immunohistochemical staining for donor-derived epithelial and endothelial cell differentiation, as well as analysis of patent vasculature in the constructs following tail vein injection of FITC-dextran.
Results: Collagen and Matrigel hydrogels supported epithelial and endothelial differentiation when implanted in vivo. Evidence of patent vasculature was more prominent in the Matrigel constructs with robust CD31 expression in tube-like configurations. Analysis of cell tracker staining revealed that some of the vasculature appeared donor derived whereas others host derived.
Conclusions: Subcutaneous implantation of differentiated distal airway cells in 3D collagen or Matrigel hydrogels maintains epithelial and endothelial differentiation. This represents a novel first step in translational evaluation of implanted differentiated distal airway cells in vivo.

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