Circulating vascular progenitor cells do not contribute to compensatory lung growth

Robert Voswinckel, Tibor Ziegelhoeffer, Matthias Heil, Sawa Kostin, Georg Breier, Tanja Mehling, Rainer Haberberger, Matthias Clauss, Andreas Gaumann, Wolfgang Schaper, Werner Seeger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Scopus citations


The biological principles that underlie the induction and process of alveolization in the lung as well as the maintenance of the complex lung tissue structure are one of the major obstacles in pulmonary medicine today. Bone marrow-derived cells have been shown to participate in angiogenesis, vascular repair, and remodeling of various organs. We addressed this phenomenon in the lung vasculature of mice in a model of regenerative lung growth. C57BL/6 mice were transplanted with bone marrow from one of three different reporter gene-transgenic strains. flk-1+/lacZ mice, tie-2/lacZ transgenic mice (both exhibiting endothelial cell-specific reporter gene expression), and ubiquitously enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP)-expressing mice served as marrow donors. After hematopoietic recovery, compensatory lung growth was induced by unilateral pneumonectomy and led to complete restoration of initial lung volume and surface area. The lungs were consecutively investigated for bone marrow-derived vascular cells by lacZ staining and immunohistochemistry for phenotype identification of vascular cells. lacZ- or eGFP-expressing bone marrow-derived endothelial cells could not be found in microvascular regions of alveolar septa. Single eGFP-positive endothelial cells were detected in pulmonary arteries at very low frequencies, whereas no eGFP-positive vascular smooth muscle cells were observed. In conclusion, we demonstrate in a model of lung growth and alveolization in adult mice the absence of significant bone marrow-derived progenitor cell contribution to the concomitant vascular growth and remodeling processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalCirculation research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 22 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Alveolization
  • Plasticity
  • Stem cells
  • Vascular endothelium
  • Vascular smooth muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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