Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have found a new kind of cell that develops in human bronchioles and plays a crucial role in the respiratory system.
The value of their discovery is that these cells could provide the basis for new treatments for various respiratory diseases, including those caused by smoking.
The human lungs have a unique structure: the distal branches of the airways connect to the alveolar gas exchange area to form the respiratory bronchioles. However, since mice, most commonly used for scientific research, lack these structures, scientists have not yet fully studied the entire process of human breathing. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania, on the other hand, have been able to conduct this study using a new sampling technology that can take lung tissue painlessly from living and healthy donors. While analyzing these tissues, scientists discovered a new type of cell called airway secretory cells (ASR).
So, what is the purpose of these cells? First, they secrete molecules to preserve mucus that lines the bronchioles and promotes proper lung function. Secondly, these cells can probably distinguish and transform into alveolar type 2 (AT2) cells, which repair damage to the lung alveoli. Finally, suppose scientists can confirm and control this ability of secretory cells. If this is the case, they will be able to develop new ways to treat diseases in the respiratory system.
Share this with your friends!