University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
Origin and function of a novel cell population
The mammalian gas exchange surface is enveloped by a capillary network, the failure of which is seen in both pediatric and adult lung diseases, such as BPD (bronchopulmonary dysplasia) and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). This capillary network is commonly believed to be homogeneous; we, however, have obtained evidence for a novel population of endothelial cells in the mouse lung. The proposed study aims to elucidate this novel endothelial population. If successful, it will not only open a new avenue of research on endothelial cell heterogeneity, but also provide new mechanistic understanding of alveologenesis and help combat the associated pulmonary diseases.