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Applications of Mouse Airway Epithelial Cell Culture for Asthma Research

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Primary airway epithelial cell culture provides a valuable tool for studying cell differentiation, cell–cell interactions, and the role of immune system factors in asthma pathogenesis. In this chapter, we discuss the application of mouse tracheal epithelial cell cultures for the study of asthma biology. A major advantage of this system is the ability to use airway epithelial cells from mice with defined genetic backgrounds. The in vitro proliferation and differentiation of mouse airway epithelial cells uses the air–liquid interface condition to generate well-differentiated epithelia with characteristics of native airways. Protocols are provided for manipulation of differentiation, induction of mucous cell metaplasia, genetic modification, and cell and pathogen coculture. Assays for the assessment of gene expression, responses of cells, and analysis of specific cell subpopulations within the airway epithelium are included.
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