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Differential expression of CCAAT enhancer binding protein family in rat alveolar epithelial cell proliferation and in acute lung injury

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Although alveolar reorganization after acute lung injury depends on regeneration of alveolar epithelial cells, there is little knowledge of regulation of pulmonary healing process. Transcription factors may play key roles in this regulation. To investigate whether the CCAAT enhancer binding protein (C/EBP) family, α, β, and δ, were involved in alveolar reorganization after injury, we examined expression of C/EBP proteins and mRNAs in lung injuries induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or bleomycin (Bleo) and in cell proliferation by keratinocyte growth factor (KGF). By immunohistochemistry, we demonstrated that C/EBPα and C/EBPβ were expressed in alveolar type II cells and alveolar macrophages, but C/EBPδ was expressed restrictedly in some of alveolar type II cells in a spatial pattern in the control lungs. Further, these three C/EBP family members were differentially expressed in alveolar cell proliferation and in acute lung injury, in which, interestingly, C/EBPα and C/EBPδ were reciprocally expressed in alveolar type II cell proliferation and in pulmonary fibrosis. However, expressions of their mRNAs by in situ hybridization were dramatically increased in the affected lesions of the lungs by LPS and Bleo, and Northern blot analysis showed an increased abundance of the mRNA for C/EBPβ in LPS-treated lungs and for C/EBPδ in Bleo-treated lungs, compared with those in the control lungs. Thus, differential expression of the C/EBP family may be required to maintain and reorganize the basic integrity of alveolar structure during pathological states, which suggests an important role for the C/EBP family in maintaining normal alveolar architecture and function and in repairing the damaged epithelium after injury.

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Received: 5 November 1998 / Accepted: 8 March 1999

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Sugahara, K., Sadohara, T., Sugita, M. et al. Differential expression of CCAAT enhancer binding protein family in rat alveolar epithelial cell proliferation and in acute lung injury. Cell Tissue Res 297, 261–270 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004410051354

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  • Key words Acute lung injury
  • Bleomycin
  • CCAAT enhancer binding protein
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Wound healing
  • Rat (F 344)