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Eur Respir J. 2005 Jan;25(1):15-22.

Different lung responses to cigarette smoke in two strains of mice sensitive to oxidants.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia e Medicina Sperimentale, Universit√† di Siena, Via Aldo Moro n.6, I-53100 Siena, Italy.


The development of cigarette smoke-induced pulmonary changes in C57 Bl/6J and DBA/2 mice was investigated. Both strains are sensitive to oxidants and C57Bl/6J mice are moderately deficient in serum alpha1-proteinase inhibitor. Following chronic exposure to cigarette smoke, patchy emphysema was present in mice of both strains, but developed faster in DBA/2 mice. A positive reaction for mouse neutrophil elastase was seen on the septa of both strains. Additionally, the DBA/2 mice developed a uniform parenchymal dilation that was preceded by the appearance of apoptotic cells in areas with a low signal for vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor 2. Fibrotic areas scattered throughout the parenchyma, coupled with a positive immunohistochemical reaction for transforming growth factor-beta was seen only in DBA/2 mice. Both DBA/2 and C57Bl/6J strains showed epithelial cell injury and areas of deciliation in their airways. However, the appearance of goblet cell metaplasia was common in C57Bl/6J mice but rare in DBA/2 mice. A positive immunohistochemical reaction for interleukin (IL)-4, IL-13 and MUC5AC was seen only in the airways of C57Bl/6J mice. Strain characteristics (alpha1-proteinase inhibitor levels, sensitivity to oxidants, and constitutive levels of vascular endothelial growth factor-receptor 2) and phenotypical responses (apoptosis and cytokine distribution) may condition parenchymal and airway changes to cigarette smoke.

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