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Exp Mol Pathol. 1994 Apr;60(2):100-7.

Cardiac collagen changes during the development of right ventricular hypertrophy in tight-skin mice with emphysema.

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Institute of General Pathology, University of Siena, Italy.


The tight-skin (Tsk) mouse is a genetic model of pulmonary emphysema. In this mouse, right ventricular hypertrophy (RVH) starts to develop at approximately 8 months of age, probably as a consequence of the emphysema. The aim of the present study was to investigate cardiac collagen synthesis, content, and types both before and during the development of RVH. Collagen synthesis, assessed by the [3H]proline incorporation method, was significantly increased in the right ventricle of 3-month-old Tsk mice. This was accompanied by a marked increase in right ventricle collagen content. Collagen typing showed no difference from controls. At 8 months of age collagen synthesis had returned to control values, right ventricular collagen content was elevated but held lower values than at 3 months, and collagen typing showed a prevalence of the more compliant type III. By 16 months of age, right ventricular collagen content had returned to control values and there was a shift in collagen types due to a relative increase of the more rigid type I. At 24 months of age right ventricular collagen content was increased again and collagen type I continued to predominate. These results suggest a dynamic role for collagen both before and during the development of RVH secondary to emphysema.

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