We have used the silica-induced model of pulmonary injury in the rat to study the pattern of collagen expression in granulomatous lung inflammation. A single intratracheal instillation of silica into adult rats resulted in granulomatous inflammation leading to fibrosis and alveolar proteinosis. The development of disease in these animals was characterized over a 27-day period after treatment by means of histological, biochemical, and molecular analyses. Biochemical analyses indicated that significant increases in the weights of silicotic lungs were due to elevated amounts of DNA and total protein. Analysis of hydroxyproline content showed a 15-fold increase in this amino acid in silicotic lungs, confirming the development of a fibrotic reaction. In situ hybridization for type I procollagen mRNA displayed increased gene expression in the parenchyma, conducting airways, and vasculature of silicotic rats. Within the parenchyma, type I procollagen was expressed uniquely within granulomatous lesions. Immunohistochemistry indicated type I procollagen was being expressed by an α-smooth muscle actin-negative population of cells. Immunolocalization of extracellular transforming growth factor-β showed coincident temporal and spatial overlap with type I procollagen expression, implicating this cytokine as a mediator of collagen gene expression in this model.
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||American Journal of Pathology|
|State||Published - Jan 1996|