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Alveolar epithelial type II (AT II) has been demonstrated to directly participate in liver recovery and can also alleviate the severity of pulmonary fibrosis in a rat model of pulmonary fibrosis. Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can differentiate into AT II in vitro, but the application of ESCs is confined by many factors.


To investigate the method and transformation rate of bone marrow mesenchymalstem cells (BMSCs) differentiation into AT II.


The BMSCs were isolated from human bone marrow cells. BMSCs were co-cultured with human embryonic lung mesenchymal cells (MRC-5) in serum-free small airway growth medium (SAGM) and modified SAGM. The morphology of BMSCs was observed, and the expression of surfactant protein C (SPC) mRNA was detected by RT-PCR. In addition, the expression of SPC was also detected by immunofluorescence.


After the BMSCs were co-cultured with MRC-5 for 10 days, some of BMSCs began to turn into epithelioid cells in morphous. After 15 days, the expression of SPC mRNA was detected, but it was not increased along with the prolongation of coculture days. Compared with SAGM, modified SAGM could significantly increase the expression of SPC mRNA (P < 0.05). BMSCs could differentiate into AT II in SAGM or modified SAGM when co-culture with MRC-5 in vitro at low transformation rate. Positive rate of SPC was only (3.15±0.69)%.

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