Conditional blastocyst complementation of a defective Foxa2 lineage efficiently promotes the generation of the whole lung

Akihiro Miura, Hemanta Sarmah, Junichi Tanaka, Youngmin Hwang, Anri Sawada, Yuko Shimamura, Takehiro Otoshi, Yuri Kondo, Yinshan Fang, Dai Shimizu, Zurab Ninish, Jake Le Suer, Nicole C. Dubois, Jennifer Davis, Shinichi Toyooka, Jun Wu, Jianwen Que, Finn J. Hawkins, Chyuan Sheng Lin, Munemasa Mori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Millions suffer from incurable lung diseases, and the donor lung shortage hampers organ transplants. Generating the whole organ in conjunction with the thymus is a significant milestone for organ transplantation because the thymus is the central organ to educate immune cells. Using lineage-tracing mice and human pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived lung-directed differentiation, we revealed that gastrulating Foxa2 lineage contributed to both lung mesenchyme and epithelium formation. Interestingly, Foxa2 lineage-derived cells in the lung mesenchyme progressively increased and occupied more than half of the mesenchyme niche, including endothelial cells, during lung development. Foxa2 promoter-driven, conditional Fgfr2 gene depletion caused the lung and thymus agenesis phenotype in mice. Wild-type donor mouse PSCs injected into their blastocysts rescued this phenotype by complementing the Fgfr2-defective niche in the lung epithelium and mesenchyme and thymic epithelium. Donor cell is shown to replace the entire lung epithelial and robust mesenchymal niche during lung development, efficiently complementing the nearly entire lung niche. Importantly, those mice survived until adulthood with normal lung function. These results suggest that our Foxa2 lineage-based model is unique for the progressive mobilization of donor cells into both epithelial and mesenchymal lung niches and thymus generation, which can provide critical insights into studying lung transplantation post-transplantation shortly.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere86105
StatePublished - 2023


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