Research Alert


Alveoli are the functional units of blood-gas exchange in the lung and thus are constantly exposed to outside environments and frequently encounter pathogens, particles and other harmful substances. For example, the alveolar epithelium is one of the primary targets of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 lung disease. Therefore, it is essential to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the integrity of alveoli epithelial barrier is maintained. Alveolar epithelium comprises two cell types: alveolar type I cells (AT1) and alveolar type II cells (AT2). AT2s have been shown to function as tissue stem cells that repair the injured alveoli epithelium. Recent studies indicate that AT1s and subgroups of proximal airway epithelial cells can also participate alveolar repair process through their intrinsic plasticity. This review discussed the potential mechanisms that drive the reparative behaviors of AT2, AT1 and some proximal cells in responses to injury and how an abnormal repair contributes to some pathological conditions.

Journal Link: Stem Cell Research & Therapy

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Stem Cell Research & Therapy