Implantation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell–Derived Tracheal Epithelial Cells

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Objectives:Compared with using autologous tissue, the use of artificial materials in the regeneration of tracheal defects is minimally invasive. However, this technique requires early epithelialization on the inner side of the artificial trachea. After differentiation from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), tracheal epithelial tissues may be used to produce artificial tracheas. Herein, we aimed to demonstrate that after differentiation from fluorescent protein-labeled iPSCs, tracheal epithelial tissues survived in nude rats with tracheal defects.Methods:Red fluorescent tdTomato protein was electroporated into mouse iPSCs to produce tdTomato-labeled iPSCs. Embryoid bodies derived from these iPSCs were then cultured in differentiation medium supplemented with growth factors, followed by culture on air-liquid interfaces for further differentiation into tracheal epithelium. The cells were implanted with artificial tracheas into nude rats with tracheal defects on day 26 of cultivation. On day 7 after implantation, the tracheas were exposed and examined histologically.Results:Tracheal epithelial tissue derived from tdTomato-labeled iPSCs survived in the tracheal defects. Moreover, immunochemical analyses showed that differentiated tissues had epithelial structures similar to those of proximal tracheal tissues.Conclusions:After differentiation from iPSCs, tracheal epithelial tissues survived in rat bodies, warranting the use of iPSCs for epithelial regeneration in tracheal defects.

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