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Bronchial Epithelial Cells Lifetoon

Research Studies with Primary Human Bronchial Epithelial Cells

Research groups in the US recently studied two very different aspects of lung function, and they used Lifeline® airway cells to do it.

Breathing is something we very much take for granted. Only when something goes wrong, such as a bout of influenza or an asthma attack, do we realize how important proper lung function is.

These two studies address mucin secretion and response to influenza infection . . .

Mucin Secretion Study

One group led by C. William Davis from the University of North Carolina used our Human Airway Epithelial Cells to study mucin secretion. As suggested by their name, mucins are an essential component of mucus, particularly luminal mucus. Mucus is crucial to lung defense under normal circumstances because it helps trap dust and various pathogens that we breathe in.

However, in diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cystic fibrosis, overproduction of mucus causes a variety of serious and life-threatening problems, including mucus plugging, trapped gas, and infections. It’s therefore important to understand how mucin secretion is regulated. The group of scientists published a protocol describing how to study mucin secretion through culturing our primary human bronchial epithelial cells 1.

Influenza Infection Study

A different group led by Ralph A. Tripp from the University of Georgia also used our primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells to study the response to influenza infection.

Specifically, they wanted to compare the infection response in human cells with that in pig cells. Swine can be infected by both human and avian influenza viruses, and it is thought that the avian viruses are resassorted in pigs, and then transmitted to humans.

The researchers wanted to know why pigs catch influenza more easily than humans do. To find this out, they infected both human and pig normal bronchial epithelial cells with various strains of human, pig, and avian influenza viruses, and found that there was a more robust anti-viral response in the human cells than the pig cells 2.

Airway Epithelial, Fibroblast, and Smooth Muscle Cells at Lifeline Cell Technology®

At Lifeline®, we carry six different types of airway cells from both the upper airway and the lungs, including:

 These cells come from a diverse population of donors that includes smokers and non-smokers, and we have five-way matched sets of different cell types from a single donor.

For airway cells in particular, we also carry air-liquid interface differentiation media optimized for mucoiliary differentiation of human bronchial and tracheal epithelial cells. Our complete line of top-quality products is sure to meet your airway cell research needs.


[1] Abdullah LH, et al. Studying Mucin Secretion from Human Bronchial Epithelial Cell Primary Cultures. Methods in Molecular Biology, 2012:842;259-277.

[2] Hauser MJ, et al. Antiviral Responses by Swine Primary Bronchoepithelial Cells Are Limited Compared to Human Bronchoepithelial Cells Following Influenza Virus Infection. PLoS ONE 2013: 8(7): e70251.

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