Increase of Immune Cells Found in Mouse Lungs at Birth

June 10, 2020 | Biotechnology

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Fresh from GEN, here is a newly released Bio Technology article for you:

Researchers from Stanford University and Stanford School of Medicine have discovered a dramatic increase in the types and number of immune cells in the lungs of mice just before birth through the first weeks of life.

Their study, “Diverse homeostatic and immunomodulatory roles of immune cells in the developing mouse lung at single cell resolution,” was published in eLife and led by Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez, PhD, who was a postdoctoral scholar at the department of pediatrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, when the study was carried out.

A baby’s first breath is a profound change at birth as its lungs, which were filled with fluid during pregnancy, must suddenly fill with oxygen from the air. At birth, the lungs rapidly transition from a pathogen-free, hypoxic environment to a pathogen-rich, rhythmically distended air-liquid interface. Many studies have focused on the adult lung, yet the perinatal lung remains unexplored. “How these changes affect immune cell populations during this transition and the ensuing rapid lung growth after birth is unclear,” noted Domingo-Gonzalez.

To learn more, Domingo-Gonzalez and her team used a technique called single-cell transcriptomics to track gene expression in individual immune cells in the lungs of mice just before birth and through the first three weeks of life.

“Here, we present an atlas of the murine lung immune compartment during early postnatal development. We show that the late embryonic lung is dominated by specialized proliferative macrophages with a surprising physical interaction with the developing vasculature. These macrophages disappear after birth and are replaced by a dynamic mixture of macrophage subtypes, dendritic cells, granulocytes, and lymphocytes. Detailed characterization of macrophage diversity revealed an orchestration of distinct subpopulations across postnatal development to fill context-specific fun... View the complete article at the GEN Blog.

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