The Lung Tissue Research Consortium (LTRC) is a resource program of the NHLBI that provides human lung tissues to qualified investigators for use in their research. The program enrolls donor subjects who are anticipating lung surgery, collects blood and extensive phenotypic data from the prospective donors, and then processes their surgical waste tissues for research use. Most donor subjects have interstitial fibrotic lung disease or COPD.
A standardized protocol is followed to assure high quality and uniformity of the data and biospecimens, and tissue samples are processed to allow pathological study, immunohistochemistry, gene expression analyses, biomarker measurements, genetic analyses, and electron microscopy. Phenotypic data include clinical and pathological diagnoses, chest CT images, pulmonary function tests, exposure and symptom questionnaires, and exercise tests. The LTRC provides tissues and data to approved investigators free of charge, but the LTRC does not provide funding to support research.
As of January 2014, the LTRC dataset included 1,007 samples with the following alpha-1 antitrypsin genotypes:
- MZ = 49 (4%)
- MS = 65 (6%)
- SS = 3 (0.3%)
- ZZ = 2 (0.2%)
- MM = 888 (88%)