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Mesenchymal Niche Supports Alveolar Epithelial Stem Cells

The mesenchyme comprises a range of subpopulations that remain uncharacterized. These include the resident mesenchymal cells (rMC-Sca1+) reported to support epithelial stem cell self-renewal. In a new STEM CELLS article, researchers led by Saverio Bellusci (Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Germany) and Jin San Zhang (The First Affiliated Hospital of Wenzhou Medical University, China) report a robust and reproducible flow cytometry strategy associated with the alveolosphere assay to characterize resident mesenchymal cells in the lung. Furthermore, Taghizadeh et al. indicate that rMC-Sca1+ cells support AT2 stem cell self-renewal and differentiation and break this population down further into two important distinct populations.