The many challenges associated with lung transplantation provide a strong rationale for the development of cell- and tissue-based therapies for patients with respiratory failure caused by the loss of lung tissue that is associated with chronic pulmonary disease, injury, or resection. In this issue of the JCI, Chapman et al. take an important step forward in the development of regenerative medicine for the treatment of lung disease by identifying a novel integrin α6β4–expressing alveolar epithelial cell that serves as a multipotent progenitor during repair of the severely injured lung.
Jeffrey A. Whitsett, Vladimir V. Kalinichenko
Location and markers of α6β4 epithelial progenitors in the lung.