Cell-specific expression of human HGF by alveolar type II cells induces remodeling of septal wall tissue in the lung: a morphometric study

Leuenberger, Alexandra; Gazdhar, Amiq; Herrmann, Gudrun; Ochs, Matthias; Geiser, Thomas; Knudsen, Lars (2012). Cell-specific expression of human HGF by alveolar type II cells induces remodeling of septal wall tissue in the lung: a morphometric study. Journal of applied physiology, 113(5), pp. 799-807. Bethesda, Md.: American Physiological Society 10.1152/japplphysiol.00411.2012

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Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) is involved in development and regeneration of the lungs. Human HGF, which was expressed specifically by alveolar epithelial type II cells after gene transfer, attenuated the bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis in an animal model. As there are also regions that appear morphologically unaffected in fibrosis, the effects of this gene transfer to normal lungs is of interest. In vitro studies showed that HGF inhibits the formation of the basal lamina by cultured alveolar epithelial cells. Thus we hypothesized that, in the healthy lung, cell-specific expression of HGF induces a remodeling within septal walls. Electroporation of a plasmid of human HGF gene controlled by the surfactant protein C promoter was applied for targeted gene transfer. Using design-based stereology at light and electron microscopic level, structural alterations were analyzed and compared with a control group. HGF gene transfer increased the volume of distal air spaces, as well as the surface area of the alveolar epithelium. The volume of septal walls, as well as the number of alveoli, was unchanged. Volumes per lung of collagen and elastic fibers were unaltered, but a marked reduction of the volume of residual extracellular matrix (all components other than collagen and elastic fibers) and interstitial cells was found. A correlation between the volumes of residual extracellular matrix and distal air spaces, as well as total surface area of alveolar epithelium, could be established. Cell-specific expression of HGF leads to a remodeling of the connective tissue within the septal walls in the healthy lung, which is associated with more pronounced stretching of distal air spaces at a given hydrostatic pressure during instillation fixation.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Pneumology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Gazdhar, Amiq, Herrmann, Gudrun, Geiser, Thomas (A)




American Physiological Society




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:35

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2023 23:32

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/14061 (FactScience: 220865)

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