3D Reconstruction of the Human Airway Mucosa In Vitro as an Experimental Model to Study NTHi Infections.

Marrazzo P, Maccari S, Taddei A, Bevan L, Telford J, Soriani M, Pezzicoli A
Source: PLoS ONE
Publication Date: (2016)
Issue: 11(4): e0153985
Cells used in publication:
Epithelial, bronchial (NHBE), human
Species: human
Tissue Origin: lung
Fibroblast, lung, human normal (NHLF)
Species: human
Tissue Origin: lung

Lonza's NHLF and NHBE were cocultured in a 3D model. This in-vitro model was used to mimic the human airway mucosa. This is a proposed model to study infections of the airway tissue. The researchers introduced a non typeable Haemophilus influenza.


We have established an in vitro 3D system which recapitulates the human tracheo-bronchial mucosa comprehensive of the pseudostratified epithelium and the underlying stromal tissue. In particular, we reported that the mature model, entirely constituted of primary cells of human origin, develops key markers proper of the native tissue such as the mucociliary differentiation of the epithelial sheet and the formation of the basement membrane. The infection of the pseudo-tissue with a strain of NonTypeable Haemophilus influenzae results in bacteria association and crossing of the mucus layer leading to an apparent targeting of the stromal space where they release large amounts of vesicles and form macro-structures. In summary, we propose our in vitro model as a reliable and potentially customizable system to study mid/long term host-pathogen processes.