Using sophisticated screening across animal species, researchers at Yale University, New Haven, Conn., have created a cellular blueprint of the human lung that will make it easier to understand the design principles behind lung function and disease--and to bioengineer new lungs.
The research, published in Science Advances, represents a collaboration between two labs--that of Naftali Kaminski, professor of internal medicine and pharmacology, and Laura Niklason, professor of anesthesiology and biomedical engineering and a specialist in stimulating growth of new lung tissue from the body's own cells for use in transplants.
In analyzing data obtained through single-cell technology, which offers an ultra high-resolution view of up to millions of individual cells at once, the researchers found key cell interactions that were conserved across four species--mouse, rat, pig, and human. Specifically, they revealed several universal cell communication networks driving functions such as cell regulation, disease monitoring, and cell signaling, providing new insights into the mechanisms behind lung development and disease.
"We can take an entire organ, or tissue, and measure all the cell types from a single snapshot," says lead author Micha Raredon, M.D./Ph.D. candidate in Nikiason's lab....