The development of ciliated and mucus cells from basal cells in hamster tracheal epithelial cell cultures

Peter C. Moller, L. R. Partridge, Robert A. Cox, V. Pellegrini, David G. Ritchie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hamster tracheal epithelia consist of three cell types: ciliated, mucus and basal cells. Autoradiographic data from several studies suggest that either basal or non-ciliated columnar cells may serve as stem cells for regeneration of lost or damaged ciliated and mucus cells. The objective of the present study was to examine the role of basal cells in the formation of ciliated and mucus cells in hamster tracheal epithelial (HTE) cell cultures via tritialed thymidine ([3H]-TdR) autoradiography. When 3 day cultures were pulsed with [3H]-TdR for 6hr and incubated for 2 additional days in non-radioactive media (5 day total) label was present in the nuclei of basal and columnar epithelial cells suggesting that the labeled columnar cells may be derived from basal cells. However, the morphological reorganization occurring during this 2 day interval may create difficulties in this interpretation. Since these morphological changes are minimal during the 6 day to 8 day in vitro period, 6 day HTE cultures were pulsed with [3H]-TdR for 6 hr and incubated for 2 additional days in non-radioactive media (8 day total), and examined to further study the fate of labeled basal cells during this period. Analysis of these 8 day cultures revealed that labeled nuclei were present in both basal cells and adjacent ciliated and mucus cells. These results do not exclude the possibility of non-basal cell origin of ciliated and mucus cells in other systems but suggest that, at least in HTE cultures, undifferentiated basal cells have the ability to develop into ciliated and mucus cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-198
Number of pages4
JournalTissue and Cell
Volume21
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1989

Keywords

  • Tissue culture
  • autoradiography
  • differentiation
  • trachea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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