The ability of human airway basal cells to serve as progenitor cells in the conducting airway makes them an attractive target in a number of respiratory diseases associated with epithelial remodeling. This unit describes a protocol for the culture of 'bronchospheres', three-dimensional (3-D) organoids that are derived from primary human airway basal cells. Mature bronchospheres are composed of functional multi-ciliated cells, mucin-producing goblet cells, and airway basal cells. In contrast to existing methods used for the culture of well-differentiated human airway epithelial cells, bronchospheres do not require growth on a permeable support and can be cultured in 384-well assay plates. The system provides a mechanism for investigating the regulation of basal cell fate during airway epithelial morphogenesis, as well as a basis for studying the function of the human airway epithelium in high-throughput assays. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Keywords: bronchosphere; ciliated cell; goblet cell; high throughput screening; mucociliary.
Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.