The Tissue Core provides expertise, guidance, and standardized methodology for performing lung structural analysis including inflation, fixation, immunohistochemistry, laser capture micro dissection, fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), and morphometric analysis. The Core assists with precise site-specific isolation of vascular tissue including micro-dissection techniques and comparison of phenotypic differences between proximal and distal cells. The Core efficiently provides a wide variety of freshly dispersed and cultured resident vascular cells isolated, grown, and, characterized in a standardized way. Available cells include vascular smooth muscle cells, endothelial cells, and adventitial fibroblasts harvested from rodent, bovine and human tissue. The Core uses immunofluorescent staining with cell-type-specific antibody probes to document identity, extent of homogeneity or heterogeneity, and cell-culture-induced changes in differentiation. Cell sorting capability is available to improve purity and yield of harvested microvascular cell populations. The Core routinely performs in vitro cell proliferation, toxicity, apoptosis, and migration assays. Digital imaging is used to catalogue the morphological appearance of cell populations after initial isolation. The Core assists with application of short and long-term hypoxic and mechanical stress stimulation to freshly dispersed and cultured cells and the use of co-culture techniques to assess the potential modulatory role of neighboring vascular cells. The Core achieves economies of scale through centralized processing of vascular cells and bulk ordering of supplies. Additional responsibilities of the Core include: coordinated maintenance and upgrading of tissue-culture equipment;short-term radioactive waste management; restocking and maintenance of radioisotope work area;and ongoing training of fellows, research staff and student workers in staining, imaging and cell culture techniques. The Core facilitates assess to human lung tissue through the Lung Tissue Research Consortium.
The Tissue Core encourages a consistent approach to the measurement of structural changes and gene expression in lung and heart in response to various forms of stress. The Core facilitates the isolation of precisely characterized vascular cell populations for mechanistic studies. The results provide important information about how pulmonary hypertension occurs and may be treated more effectively in the future.
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