Cristina M. Alvira

Publication Details

  • Prolonged mechanical ventilation with air induces apoptosis and causes failure of alveolar septation and angiogenesis in lungs of newborn mice AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LUNG CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR PHYSIOLOGY Mokres, L. M., Parai, K., Hilgendorff, A., Ertsey, R., Alvira, C. M., Rabinovitch, M., Bland, R. D. 2010; 298 (1): L23-L35


    Defective lung septation and angiogenesis, quintessential features of neonatal chronic lung disease (CLD), typically result from lengthy exposure of developing lungs to mechanical ventilation (MV) and hyperoxia. Previous studies showed fewer alveoli and microvessels, with reduced VEGF and increased transforming growth factor-beta (TGFbeta) signaling, and excess, scattered elastin in lungs of premature infants and lambs with CLD vs. normal controls. MV of newborn mice with 40% O(2) for 24 h yielded similar lung structural abnormalities linked to impaired VEGF signaling, dysregulated elastin production, and increased apoptosis. These studies could not determine the relative importance of cyclic stretch vs. hyperoxia in causing these lung growth abnormalities. We therefore studied the impact of MV for 24 h with air on alveolar septation (quantitative lung histology), angiogenesis [CD31 quantitative-immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunoblots], apoptosis [TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL), active caspase-3 assays], VEGF signaling [VEGF-A, VEGF receptor 1 (VEGF-R1), VEGF-R2 immunoblots], TGFbeta activation [phosphorylated Smad2 (pSmad2) quantitative-IHC], and elastin production (tropoelastin immunoblots, quantitative image analysis of Hart's stained sections) in lungs of 6-day-old mice. Compared with unventilated controls, MV caused a 3-fold increase in alveolar area, approximately 50% reduction in alveolar number and endothelial surface area, >5-fold increase in apoptosis, >50% decrease in lung VEGF-R2 protein, 4-fold increase of pSmad2 protein, and >50% increase in lung elastin, which was distributed throughout alveolar walls rather than at septal tips. This study is the first to show that prolonged MV of developing lungs, without associated hyperoxia, can inhibit alveolar septation and angiogenesis and increase apoptosis and lung elastin, findings that could reflect stretch-induced changes in VEGF and TGFbeta signaling, as reported in CLD.

    View details for DOI 10.1152/ajplung.00251.2009

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272827900005

    View details for PubMedID 19854954

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