FULLY HUMANIZED MODEL TO STUDY THE ROLE OF BLOOD VESSELS IN chronic LUNG DISEASE
Ryan Hoyes, a previous member of our research group, has completed a summer studentship funded by Animal Free Research (AFR) UK. Ryan's project was entitled "Identifying gene expression profiles of cultured blood vessel endothelial cells for use in a humanized model of lung fibrosis." He utilized his skills in bioinformatics to assess the transcriptional heterogeneity of cultured human endothelial cells in our humanized model of the ageing human lung.
Human pulmonary microvascular blood endothelial cells (HPBEC) line the internal surfaces of the blood capillary network surrounding alveolar sacks in human lung. HPBEC facilitate gas exchange and are involved in several functions including immune cell recruitment, and other molecular mechanisms involved in homeostasis. Dysfunctional HPBEC have been implicated in lung fibrosis development. However, currently their contribution to fibrosis is unknown. To date, the majority of studies investigating endothelial cell contribution has been done utilising animal models, such as the bleomycin-treated rodent models. These models poorly reflect the intricate molecular mechanisms that are involved in human disease. The humanized model developed by our group aims to replace these models by better reflecting the mechanisms of human disease.
The aim of this project was to identify the diversity of gene expression profiles from ageing human lung blood vessel endothelial cells cultured in human serum from lung fibrosis patients or age matched donor samples in the humanized monolayer model. The project worked closely with the High Performance Computer VIPER team at the University of Hull and University of York Biotechnology Facility Team.
Ryan presented the findings of his research at the AFR UK summer school in London and submitted a final report to AFR UK in late September.
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