Molecular phenotype of airway side population cells

Adam Giangreco, Hongmei Shen, Susan D Reynolds, Barry R Stripp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)


Lung epithelial-specific stem cells have been localized to discrete microenvironments throughout the adult conducting airway. Properties of these cells include pollutant resistance, multipotent differentiation, and infrequent proliferation. Goals of the present study were to use Hoechst 33342 efflux, a property of stem cells in other tissues, to purify and further characterize airway stem cells. Hoechst 33342 effluxing lung cells were identified as a verapamil-sensitive side population by flow cytometry. Lung side population cells were further subdivided on the basis of hematopoietic (CD45 positive) or nonhematopoietic (CD45 negative) origin. Nonhematopoietic side population cells were enriched for stem cell antigen-1 reactivity and expressed molecular markers specific to both airway and mesenchymal lineages. Analysis of the molecular phenotype of airway-derived side population cells indicates that they are similar to neuroepithelial body-associated variant Clara cells. Taken together, these data suggest that the nonhematopoietic side population isolated from lung is enriched for previously identified airway stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L624-30
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPrint publication - Apr 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Antigens, Ly/analysis
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Cell Separation
  • Epithelial Cells/cytology
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Gene Expression
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells/chemistry
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens/analysis
  • Lung/cytology
  • Membrane Proteins/analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Pancreatic Elastase
  • Phenotype
  • Proteins/genetics
  • Pulmonary Surfactant-Associated Protein C/genetics
  • Uteroglobin


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