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Free Radic Biol Med. 2007 Aug 15;43(4):628-42. Epub 2007 May 31.

Gene expression of rat alveolar type II cells during hyperoxia exposure and early recovery.

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Department of Physiological Sciences, Oklahoma State University, 264 McElroy Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA.


Alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) injury and repair during hyperoxia exposure and recovery have been investigated for decades, but the molecular mechanisms of these processes are not clear. To identify potentially important genes involved in lung injury and repair, we studied the gene expression profiles of isolated AEC II from control, 48-h hyperoxia-exposed (>95% O(2)), and 1-7 day recovering rats using a DNA microarray containing 10,000 genes. Fifty genes showed significant differential expression between two or more time points (P<0.05, fold change >2). These genes can be classified into 8 unique gene expression patterns. Real-time PCR verified 14 selected genes in three patterns related to hyperoxia exposure and early recovery. The change in the protein level for two of the selected genes, bmp-4 and retnla, paralleled that of the mRNA level. Many of these genes were found to be involved in cell proliferation and differentiation. In an in vitro AEC trans-differentiation culture model using AEC II isolated from control and 48-h hyperoxia-exposed rats, the expressions of the cell proliferation and differentiation genes identified above were consistent with their predicted roles in the trans-differentiation of AEC. These data indicate that a coordinated mechanism may control AEC differentiation during in vivo hyperoxia exposure and recovery as well as during in vitro AEC culture.

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