Isolation of CD146+ resident lung mesenchymal stromal cells from rat lungs

Jennifer J.P. Collins*, Marius A. Möbius, Bernard Thébaud

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are increasingly recognized for their therapeutic potential in a wide range of diseases, including lung diseases. Besides the use of bone marrow and umbilical cord MSCs for exogenous cell therapy, there is also increasing interest in the repair and regenerative potential of resident tissue MSCs. Moreover, they likely have a role in normal organ development, and have been attributed roles in disease, particularly those with a fibrotic nature. The main hurdle for the study of these resident tissue MSCs is the lack of a clear marker for the isolation and identification of these cells. The isolation technique described here applies multiple characteristics of lung resident MSCs (L-MSCs). Upon sacrifice of the rats, lungs are removed and rinsed multiple times to remove blood. Following mechanical dissociation by scalpel, the lungs are digested for 2-3 hr using a mix of collagenase type I, neutral protease and DNase type I. The obtained single cell suspension is subsequently washed and layered over density gradient medium (density 1.073 g/ml). After centrifugation, cells from the interphase are washed and plated in culture-treated flasks. Cells are cultured for 4-7 days in physiological 5% O2, 5% CO2 conditions. To deplete fibroblasts (CD146-) and to ensure a population of only L-MSCs (CD146+), positive selection for CD146+ cells is performed through magnetic bead selection. In summary, this procedure reliably produces a population of primary L-MSCs for further in vitro study and manipulation. Because of the nature of the protocol, it can easily be translated to other experimental animal models.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53782
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number112
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes

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© 2016 Journal of Visualized Experiments.


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