Salivary gland organoid culture maintains distinct glandular properties of murine and human major salivary glands

Yeo Jun Yoon, Donghyun Kim, Kwon Yong Tak, Seungyeon Hwang, Jisun Kim, Nam Suk Sim, Jae Min Cho, Dojin Choi, Yongmi Ji, Junho K. Hur, Hyunki Kim, Jong Eun Park, Jae Yol Lim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Salivary glands that produce and secrete saliva, which is essential for lubrication, digestion, immunity, and oral homeostasis, consist of diverse cells. The long-term maintenance of diverse salivary gland cells in organoids remains problematic. Here, we establish long-term murine and human salivary gland organoid cultures. Murine and human salivary gland organoids express gland-specific genes and proteins of acinar, myoepithelial, and duct cells, and exhibit gland functions when stimulated with neurotransmitters. Furthermore, human salivary gland organoids are established from isolated basal or luminal cells, retaining their characteristics. Single-cell RNA sequencing also indicates that human salivary gland organoids contain heterogeneous cell types and replicate glandular diversity. Our protocol also enables the generation of tumoroid cultures from benign and malignant salivary gland tumor types, in which tumor-specific gene signatures are well-conserved. In this study, we provide an experimental platform for the exploration of precision medicine in the era of tissue regeneration and anticancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3291
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Bio & Medical Technology Development Program or Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (NRF-2018R1A2B3004269, NRF-2020M3A9I4039045, NRF-2021M3A9I402444712, and NRF-2021R1C1C101009412, Republic of Korea) and the Ministry of Education (NRF-2019R1I1A1A0106354513 and NRF-2020R1I1A1A01070328, Republic of Korea).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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