Explant Culture for Studying Lung Development

  • Behzad Yeganeh
  • Claudia Bilodeau
  • Martin Post
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1752)


Lung development is a complex process that requires the input of various signaling pathways to coordinate the specification and differentiation of multiple cell types. Ex vivo culture of the lung is a very useful technique that represents an attractive model for investigating many different processes critical to lung development, function, and disease pathology. Ex vivo cultured lungs remain comparable to the in vivo lung both in structure and function, which makes them more suitable than cell cultures for physiological studies. Lung explant cultures offer several significant advantages for studies of morphogenetic events that guide lung development including budding, branching, and fusion. It also maintains the native physiological interactions between cells in the developing lung, enabling investigations of the direct and indirect signaling taking place between tissues and cells throughout the developmental process. Studying temporal and spatial control of gene expression by transcriptional factors using different reporters to understand their regulatory function at different moments of development is another valuable advantage of lung explants culture.

Key words

Lung branching morphogenesis Organ culture Air–liquid interface Lung slice Ex vivo culture 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Behzad Yeganeh
    • 1
  • Claudia Bilodeau
    • 2
    • 3
  • Martin Post
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Program in Translational MedicineHospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and LearningTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Translational MedicineHospital for Sick Children, Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and LearningTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathobiologyUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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