Saint Louis University

Immortal Differentiated Type II Lung Epithelial Cell Line (T7)

Inventor: Daphne E. deMello, M.D.


Lung type II epithelial cells are present in the alveolar lining and produce the surface tension lowering lipoprotein complex, surfactant. When surfactant is absent or deficient, as in premature infants or certain pathological states in adults, respiratory distress ensues. The lack of a suitable in vitro cell model has hampered biologic and metabolic studies of lung surfactant synthesis and secretion.

The T7 cell line, the first non-tumor derived immortalized fully differentiated lung type II cell line, was produced from lungs of transgenic H-2Kb-tsA58 mice. This cell line synthesizes the surfactant proteins SP-A, SP-B and SP-C plus phosphatidylcholine, the major components of pulmonary surfactant.

T7 cells demonstrate differentiated secretion of surfactant proteins and phospholipids at both 33¢ªC and 39¢ªC. At 39¢ªC, however, these cells exhibit progressive loss of cell proliferation and eventual cell death, which does not occur at 33¢ªC. The T7 cells have Type II cell specific biochemical and morphological features, can be maintained indefinitely in cell culture, and can be clonally expanded with ease.


The immortal differentiated lung type II lung epithelial cell line (T7) will be useful to pulmonary researchers and clinicians for: (i) studying the multiple aspects of Type II lung cell biology and metabolism, (ii) screening new drugs for their ability to affect the synthesis and secretion of pulmonary surfactant proteins and lipids, and, (iii) production of Type II lung cell lipids and surfactant proteins intended for therapeutic uses.

Category: Immortal Type II lung cell line

Keywords: immortal, Type II, pulmonary, ARDS, pulmonary surfactant, assay, drug screening

Patent: None

License: Available

Reference Number: SLU-1015

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