Epperly, M. W., Guo, H., Shen, H., Niu, Y., Zhang, X., Jefferson, M., Sikora, C. A. and Greenberger, J. S. Bone Marrow Origin of Cells with Capacity for Homing and Differentiation to Esophageal Squamous Epithelium. Radiat. Res. 162, 233–240 (2004).
Our goal was to determine whether esophageal progenitor cells could be isolated from adult mouse esophagus or bone marrow and shown to home to and proliferate in the irradiated esophagus of recipient mice. Esophageal progenitor cells were isolated from adult male C3H/HeNsd or C57BL/6J green fluorescent protein (GFP ) mice by a serial in vitro preplate technique or the technique of side population cell sorting. When injected intravenously (i.v.), these cells homed to the 30-Gy-irradiated esophagus of GFP− female recipient mice and formed donor-origin esophageal foci. GFP whole murine bone marrow cells injected i.v. also formed donor-origin esophageal squamous cell foci and protected recipient GFP− mice from upper-body irradiation in a cell dose-dependent manner. Marrow chimeric GFP− mice reconstituted with GFP cells showed migration of GFP marrow cells to the esophagus after 30 Gy irradiation. Purified esophageal progenitor cells isolated from first-generation preplate cell recipients engrafted after i.v. injection to the esophagus of second-generation-irradiated recipient mice. These data establish that esophageal progenitor cells can home to the irradiated esophagus and show limited differentiation capacity to squamous epithelium.