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Mol Genet Metab. 2002 Mar;75(3):265-75.

Regulation of cell proliferation by insulin-like growth factor 1 in hyperoxia-exposed neonatal rat lung.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


Hyperoxic exposure of the developing lung leads to characteristic peribronchial and mesenchymal fibroproliferative changes. We hypothesize that O2-induced changes in the neonatal lung are mediated by Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and IGF-1 receptor (IGF-1R). Lung explant cultures were prepared from 3-day-old neonatal rat pups and exposed to room air or 95% O2 for 72 h. Western blots and immunohistochemistry were used to determine if hyperoxia stimulated IGF-1 and IGF-1R, and to identify the cell types involved. Retinoic acid was used to learn if this would inhibit oxygen-induced cell proliferation. Hyperoxia induced a significant increase in thymidine incorporation (control, 54 +/- 9; hyperoxia, 254 +/- 24 dpm/nM DNA; mean +/- SEM; N = 3; P < 0.05). This was inhibited by 5 x 10(-5) M RA (149 +/- 18 dpm/nM DNA; P < 0.05) and by anti-IGF-1 antibody (115 +/- 25 dpm/nM DNA; P < 0.05; N = 3). BrdU labeling in the mesenchymal cells was significantly increased in mesenchymal cells after exposure to oxygen (91% higher than the room air control) but not in epithelial cells. This increase was inhibited in the presence of retinoic acid. Western blots showed IGF-1 protein was increased after 72 h of O2 exposure compared to room air exposure (57 +/- 7 compared to 32 +/- 5 densitometric units; P < 0.05; N = 3). The increase was inhibited when the cultures were exposed to 95% O2 in the presence of anti-IGF-1 antibody (28 +/- 4; P < 0.05; N = 3). IGF-1 protein decreased in the presence of retinoic acid after oxygen exposure but not in room air. Immunostaining of O2-exposed lung showed IGF-1 was most abundant in airway and alveolar epithelial cells. We conclude that hyperoxia increases cell proliferation by stimulating IGF-1 in the neonatal rat lung. Interaction of IGF-1 and IGF-1R is an important cell-cell communication mechanism in the developmental and repair processes of hyperoxic neonatal lung injury.

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