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Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2002 May;282(5):L924-40.

Keratinocyte and hepatocyte growth factors in the lung: roles in lung development, inflammation, and repair.

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Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles 90024, USA.


A growing body of evidence indicates that the epithelial-specific growth factors keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-10, and hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) play important roles in lung development, lung inflammation, and repair. The therapeutic potential of these growth factors in lung disease has yet to be fully explored. KGF has been best studied and has impressive protective effects against a wide variety of injurious stimuli when given as a pretreatment in animal models. Whether this protective effect could translate to a treatment effect in humans with acute lung injury needs to be investigated. FGF-10 and HGF may also have therapeutic potential, but more extensive studies in animal models are needed. Because HGF lacks true epithelial specificity, it may have less potential than KGF and FGF-10 as a targeted therapy to facilitate lung epithelial repair. Regardless of their therapeutic potential, studies of the unique roles played by these growth factors in the pathogenesis and the resolution of acute lung injury and other lung diseases will continue to enhance our understanding of the complex pathophysiology of inflammation and repair in the lung.

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