Programmatic change: lung disease research in the era of induced pluripotency.

Ikonomou L, Hemnes AR, Bilousova G, Hamid R, Loyd JE, Hatzopoulos AK, Kotton DN, Majka SM, Austin ED
Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2011 301 (6): L830-5

PMID: 21984571 · PMCID: PMC3233828 · DOI:10.1152/ajplung.00255.2011

Human lung research has made remarkable progress over the last century largely through the use of animal models of disease. The challenge for the future is to translate these findings into human disease and bring about meaningful disease modification or even cure. The ability to generate transformative therapies in the future will require human tissue, currently scarce under the best of circumstances. Unfortunately, patient-derived somatic cells are often poorly characterized and have a limited life span in culture. Moreover, these cells are frequently obtained from patients with end-stage disease exposed to multiple drug therapies, leaving researchers with questions about whether their findings recapitulate disease-initiating processes or are simply the result of pharmacological intervention or subsequent host responses. The goal of studying early disease in multiple cell and tissue types has driven interest in the use of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model lung disease. These cells provide an alternative model for relevant lung research and hold promise in particular for studying the initiation of disease processes in genetic conditions such as heritable pulmonary arterial hypertension as well as other lung diseases. In this Perspective, we focus on potential iPSC use in pulmonary vascular disease research as a model for iPSC use in many types of advanced lung disease.

MeSH Terms (8)

Animals Cell Differentiation Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension Fibroblasts Humans Hypertension, Pulmonary Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Regenerative Medicine

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