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Nat Protoc ; 16(11): 5171-5192, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500485


Human epithelial organoids-3D spheroids derived from adult tissue stem cells-enable investigation of epithelial physiology and disease and host interactions with microorganisms, viruses and bioactive molecules. One challenge in using organoids is the difficulty in accessing the apical, or luminal, surface of the epithelium, which is enclosed within the organoid interior. This protocol describes a method we previously developed to control human and mouse organoid polarity in suspension culture such that the apical surface faces outward to the medium (apical-out organoids). Our protocol establishes apical-out polarity rapidly (24-48 h), preserves epithelial integrity, maintains secretory and absorptive functions and allows regulation of differentiation. Here, we provide a detailed description of the organoid polarity reversal method, compatible characterization assays and an example of an application of the technology-specifically the impact of host-microbe interactions on epithelial function. Control of organoid polarity expands the possibilities of organoid use in gastrointestinal and respiratory health and disease research.

Cell Differentiation , Gastrointestinal Tract , Organoids , Animals , Cell Culture Techniques , Epithelial Cells/cytology , Mice
Nature ; 588(7839): 670-675, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-943910


The distal lung contains terminal bronchioles and alveoli that facilitate gas exchange. Three-dimensional in vitro human distal lung culture systems would strongly facilitate the investigation of pathologies such as interstitial lung disease, cancer and coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here we describe the development of a long-term feeder-free, chemically defined culture system for distal lung progenitors as organoids derived from single adult human alveolar epithelial type II (AT2) or KRT5+ basal cells. AT2 organoids were able to differentiate into AT1 cells, and basal cell organoids developed lumens lined with differentiated club and ciliated cells. Single-cell analysis of KRT5+ cells in basal organoids revealed a distinct population of ITGA6+ITGB4+ mitotic cells, whose offspring further segregated into a TNFRSF12Ahi subfraction that comprised about ten per cent of KRT5+ basal cells. This subpopulation formed clusters within terminal bronchioles and exhibited enriched clonogenic organoid growth activity. We created distal lung organoids with apical-out polarity to present ACE2 on the exposed external surface, facilitating infection of AT2 and basal cultures with SARS-CoV-2 and identifying club cells as a target population. This long-term, feeder-free culture of human distal lung organoids, coupled with single-cell analysis, identifies functional heterogeneity among basal cells and establishes a facile in vitro organoid model of human distal lung infections, including COVID-19-associated pneumonia.

COVID-19/virology , Lung/cytology , Models, Biological , Organoids/cytology , Organoids/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tissue Culture Techniques , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Differentiation , Cell Division , Clone Cells/cytology , Clone Cells/metabolism , Clone Cells/virology , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/growth & development , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/physiology , Integrin alpha6/analysis , Integrin beta4/analysis , Keratin-5/analysis , Organoids/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Single-Cell Analysis , TWEAK Receptor/analysis