Evidence of temporary airway epithelial repopulation and rare clonal formation by BM-derived cells following naphthalene injury in mice.
Anat Rec (Hoboken)
The goal of the study was to investigate participation of bone marrow (BM) cells in the process of airway epithelial restoration after naphthalene-induced injury. We transplanted sex-mismatched green fluorescent protein (GFP) -tagged BM-derived cultured plastic-adherent mesenchymal stem cells into 5Gy-irradiated C57BL/6 recipients. After 1 month of recovery, experimental animals were subjected to 250 mg/kg naphthalene IP. Animals were killed at 2-30 days after naphthalene. By immunofluorescence, immunohistochemistry, and by in situ hybridization for the Y-chromosome, we observed patches of donor-derived cells in the large and small conducting airways, mostly at 2-6 days after injury. GFP(+) cells in the epithelium of airways were positive for pancytokeratin and some other epithelial markers. Although rare, GFP(+) cells formed clear isolated patches of the bronchial epithelium, consistent with clonal formation; as some cells were also positive for proliferating cell nuclear antigen, a marker of proliferating cells. After day 12, only occasional GFP(+) cells were present in the epithelium. These data confirm that bone marrow-derived cultured mesenchymal cells can participate in the recovery of the injured airway epithelium after naphthalene-induced injury with minimal long-term engraftment.