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Am J Pathol. Aug 1996; 149(2): 539–548.
PMCID: PMC1865324

Platelet-derived growth factor causes pulmonary cell proliferation and collagen deposition in vivo.


Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) is postulated to play a role in the pathophysiology of pulmonary fibrosis. Recombinant human PDGF-BB administered as a single intratracheal injection in rats causes an increase in peribronchial and perivascular stromal cells on days 2 and 3 after injection as evaluated by hematoxylin and eosin histology and 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. Proliferation of bronchial epithelial cells and arterial smooth muscle cells, although not evident by routine histological examination alone, is detected on days 2 and 3 by increased 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation. A mild increase in 5-bromodeoxyuridine labeling is observed in peripheral alveolar parenchyma after injection of PDGF. The proliferative peribronchial and perivascular mesenchymal cells appear by light microscopic and ultrastructural criteria to be fibroblasts that are immunoreactive for vimentin but negative for alpha-smooth muscle actin and desmin. Daily intratracheal injection of PDGF-BB for 3 days causes a slightly more pronounced peribronchial and perivascular spindle cell proliferation accompanied by collagen deposition as evaluated by Masson's trichrome stain. PDGF-induced increases in cellularity and collagen resolve within 5 days after the last PDGF injection. In conclusion, intratracheal injection of PDGF-BB causes transient proliferation of pulmonary mesenchymal and epithelial cells accompanied by collagen deposition.

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Selected References

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