Lung Stem and Progenitor Cells in Tissue Homeostasis and Disease

Kristen T. Leeman, Christine M. Fillmore, Carla F. Kim

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

63 Scopus citations


The mammalian lung is a complex organ containing numerous putative stem/progenitor cell populations that contribute to region-specific tissue homeostasis and repair. In this review, we discuss recent advances in identifying and studying these cell populations in the context of lung homeostasis and disease. Genetically engineered mice now allow for lineage tracing of several lung stem and progenitor cell populations in vivo during different types of lung injury repair. Using specific sets of cell surface markers, these cells can also be isolated from murine and human lung and tested in 3D culture systems and in vivo transplant assays. The pathology of devastating lung diseases, including lung cancers, is likely in part due to dysregulation and dysfunction of lung stem cells. More precise characterization of stem cells with identification of new, unique markers; improvement in isolation and transplant techniques; and further development of functional assays will ultimately lead to new therapies for a host of human lung diseases. In particular, lung cancer biology may be greatly informed by findings in normal lung stem cell biology as evidence suggests that lung cancer is a disease that begins in, and may be driven by, neoplastic lung stem cells.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
Number of pages27
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameCurrent Topics in Developmental Biology
ISSN (Print)0070-2153

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank members of our laboratory for their discussions and critical comments on the chapter. Work in our laboratory is supported by the Post-Doctoral Fellowship, PF-12-151-01-DMC, from the American Cancer Society (CMF), the Ikaria Advancing Newborn Medicine Grant (KTL), American Medical Association Foundation SEED Grant (KTL), 5 T32HD7466-15 (KTL), RO1 HL090136, U01 HL100402 RFA-HL-09-004, American Cancer Society Research Scholar Grant RSG-08-082-01-MGO, the V Foundation for Cancer Research, a Basil O’Conner March of Dimes Starter Award, and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (CFK).


  • Cell-based therapy
  • Embryonic stem cells
  • IPS cells
  • Lung cancer
  • Lung cancer stem cells
  • Lung stem cells
  • Mesenchymal stromal cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Lung Stem and Progenitor Cells in Tissue Homeostasis and Disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this