Productive infection of human embryonic stem cell-derived NKX2.1+ respiratory progenitors with human rhinovirus

Robert A Jenny, Claire E Hirst, Sue Mei Lim, Adam L Goulburn, Suzanne Jeanine Micallef, Tanya Labonne, Anthony Kicic, Kak-Ming Ling, Stephen Stick, Elizabeth Siew Sun Ng, Alan Osborne Trounson, Antonietta Giudice, Andrew G Elefanty, Edouard G Stanley

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Airway epithelial cells generated from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) represent a resource for research into a variety of human respiratory conditions, including those resulting from infection with common human pathogens. Using an NKX2.1-GFP reporter human embryonic stem cell line, we developed a serum-free protocol for the generation of NKX2.1+ endoderm that, when transplanted into immunodeficient mice, matured into respiratory cell types identified by expression of CC10, MUC5AC, and surfactant proteins. Gene profiling experiments indicated that day 10 NKX2.1+ endoderm expressed markers indicative of early foregut but lacked genes associated with later stages of respiratory epithelial cell differentiation. Nevertheless, NKX2.1+ endoderm supported the infection and replication of the common respiratory pathogen human rhinovirus HRV1b. Moreover, NKX2.1+ endoderm upregulated expression of IL-6, IL-8, and IL-1B in response to infection, a characteristic of human airway epithelial cells. Our experiments provide proof of principle for the use of PSC-derived respiratory epithelial cells in the study of cell-virus interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603 - 614
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cells Translational Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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