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In Vitro Cell Dev Biol Anim. 2010 Feb;46(2):102-6. doi: 10.1007/s11626-009-9258-6. Epub 2009 Nov 14.

Equine bronchial epithelial cells differentiate into ciliated and mucus producing cells in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.


We describe a method for creating differentiated equine bronchial epithelial cell cultures that can be used for in vitro studies including airway disease mechanisms and pathogen-host interactions. Our method is based on the culturing of human tracheobronchial epithelial cells at an air-liquid interface (ALI) in specific serum-free, hormone-supplemented medium. Bronchial epithelial cells are isolated and grown on T-Clear® insert membranes. Within 2 to 3 wk, cells differentiate into ciliated and mucus producing cells as demonstrated by confocal and electron microscopy. Furthermore, the demonstration of the two major gel-forming mucin species, Muc5ac and Muc5b, in our bronchial epithelial cell culture system validates this method for studies of respiratory tract disease of the horse.

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