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Exp Lung Res. 2009 Feb;35(1):29-47. doi: 10.1080/01902140802395757.

ErbB4 regulates surfactant synthesis and proliferation in adult rat pulmonary epithelial cells.

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Newborn Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


ErbB4 is a predominant heterodimer for other ErbB receptors in late fetal lung development where it participates in regulating type II cell surfactant synthesis. To further elucidate the role of ErbB4 in pulmonary alveolar epithelial cell function, the authors hypothesized that ErbB4 participates in maintaining adult lung type II cell homeostasis. The authors used small interfering RNA (siRNA) to down-regulate endogenous, ErbB4 receptors in the adult rat lung epithelial L2 cell line and measured neuregulin 1beta (NRG1beta)-, and fibroblast conditioned medium (FCM)-induced effects on L2 cell surfactant phospholipid synthesis and proliferation. Under control conditions, total and phosphorylated ErbB4 were significantly increased after both NRG1beta and FCM treatment, as were surfactant phospholipids synthesis and cell proliferation. Down-regulation of ErbB4 with siRNA reduced stimulation of NRG1beta- and FCM-induced ErbB4 phosphorylation, decreased endogenous surfactant phospholipid synthesis, and blocked NRG1beta- and FCM-stimulated surfactant phospholipid synthesis. NRG1beta- and FCM-induced cell proliferation was not affected. The authors conclude that ErbB4 participates in maintaining adult lung alveolar epithelial cell surfactant synthesis and proliferation with development-specific functions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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