Close neighbors in the niche: Paracrine signals from endothelial cells promote alveolar epithelial differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived lung progenitors

      Introduction: Transplantable bioartificial lung constructs seeded with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived airway and vascular cells may alleviate donor lung shortages and circumvent graft rejection. Establishment of the air-blood barrier (apposition of alveolar epithelial cells—endothelial cells) is an essential functional interface of the lungs for gas exchange. While iPSCs can readily differentiate to proximal airway epithelial phenotypes, the further differentiation of lung progenitors to distal alveolar remains challenging.
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