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Pediatr Res. 2010 Apr;67(4):375-81. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e3181d23656.

Modulation of Lgl1 by steroid, retinoic acid, and vitamin D models complex transcriptional regulation during alveolarization.

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  • 1Montreal Children's Hospital Research Institute, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H3A 1B1.


Alveolarization depends on circulating glucocorticoid (GC), retinoid (RA), and vitamin D (VitD). Bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a leading cause of neonatal morbidity, is associated with arrested alveolarization. In hyperoxia-exposed rats displaying features of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, reduced levels of late gestation lung 1 (Lgl1) normalize during recovery. We show that GC (100 nM) stimulates (7- to 115-fold) and VitD (100 microM) suppresses (twofold) Lgl1 expression. RA (all-trans/9-cis, 10 microM) effects are biphasic. From postnatal days 7-10, RA was stimulatory (twofold) at 24 h, after which effects were inhibitory (3- to 15-fold). Lgl1 promoter-luciferase reporter assays confirmed that these agents operated at the transcriptional level. Interestingly, the individual inhibitory effects of VitD and RA on GC induction of Lgl1 were abrogated when both agents were present, suggesting that steric hindrance may influence promoter accessibility. Analysis of the proximity (<50 base pairs) of binding sites for overlapping VitD and RA receptors to that of the GC receptor identified 81% of promoters in 66 genes (including Lgl1) important in human lung development compared with 48% in a random set of 1000 genes. Complex integration of the effects of GC, RA, and VitD on gene expression in the postnatal lung is likely to contribute to the timely advance of alveolarization without attendant inflammation.

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