Matrix modulation of compensatory lung regrowth and progenitor cell proliferation in mice

A. M. Hoffman, A. Shifren, M. R. Mazan, A. M. Gruntman, K. M. Lascola, R. D. Nolen-Walston, C. F. Kim, L. Tsai, R. A. Pierce, R. P. Mecham, E. P. Ingenito

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41 Scopus citations


Mechanical stress is an important modulator of lung morphogenesis, postnatal lung development, and compensatory lung regrowth. The effect of mechanical stress on stem or progenitor cells is unclear. We examined whether proliferative responses of epithelial progenitor cells, including dually immunoreactive (CCSP and proSP-C) progenitor cells (CCSP+/SP-C+) and type II alveolar epithelial cells (ATII), are affected by physical factors found in the lung of emphysematics, including loss of elastic recoil, reduced elastin content, and alveolar destruction. Mice underwent single lung pneumonectomy (PNY) to modulate transpulmonary pressure (mechanical stress) and to stimulate lung regeneration. Control mice underwent sham thoracotomy. Plombage of different levels was employed to partially or completely abolish this mechanical stress. Responses to graded changes in transpulmonary pressure were assessed in elastin-insufficient mice (elastin +/-, ELN+/-) and elastase-treated mice with elastase-induced emphysema. Physiological regrowth, morphometry (linear mean intercept; Lmi), and the proliferative responses of CCSP+/SP-C+, Clara cells, and ATII were evaluated. Plombage following PNY significantly reduced transpulmonary pressure, regrowth, and CCSP+/SP-C+, Clara cell, and ATII proliferation following PNY. In the ELN+/- group, CCSP+/SP-C+ and ATII proliferation responses were completely abolished, although compensatory lung regrowth was not significantly altered. In contrast, in elastase-injured mice, compensatory lung regrowth was signifi-cantly reduced, and ATII but not CCSP+/SP-C+ proliferation responses were impaired. Elastase injury also reduced the baseline abundance of CCSP+/SP-C+, and CCSP+/SP-C+ were found to be displaced from the bronchioalveolar duct junction. These data suggest that qualities of the extracellular matrix including elastin content, mechanical stress, and alveolar integrity strongly influence the regenerative capacity of the lung, and the patterns of cell proliferation in the lungs of adult mice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L158-L168
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Bronchioalveolar stem cell
  • Elastase
  • Elastin
  • Lung regeneration
  • Pneumocyte
  • Pneumonectomy


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