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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2000 Dec;279(6):L1146-58.

KGF regulates pulmonary epithelial proliferation and surfactant protein gene expression in adult rat lung.

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Department of Medicine, National Jewish Medical and Research Center, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.


Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF, FGF-7) is a potent mitogen for epithelial cells. We instilled recombinant human KGF to determine the effects of KGF on alveolar epithelial cells. Left lungs of adult rats were instilled intrabronchially with KGF (5 mg/kg) or normal saline. KGF instillation resulted in epithelial cell hyperplasia, and the alveolar bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) labeling index peaked at 35% on day 2 after instillation. The mRNA levels for the surfactant proteins (SPs) SP-A, SP-B, and SP-D were increased in whole lung tissue on days 1 and 2 after KGF treatment and then returned to control levels on days 3-7. SP-C mRNA levels were increased on days 2-5 after KGF instillation. However, all surfactant protein mRNAs were reduced in type II cells isolated from rats instilled with KGF 2 or 3 days before isolation. These observations were confirmed by in situ hybridization. Instillation of KGF also increased the amount of SP-A and SP-D in lavage fluid. Transcripts for CC10, the 10-kDa Clara cell protein, were decreased. KGF increases the mRNA for the surfactant proteins per lung because of type II cell hyperplasia, but the mRNA per cell is slightly diminished as measured in isolated cells or estimated by in situ hybridization.

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