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Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 1996 Jun;14(6):577-85.

T1 alpha protein is developmentally regulated and expressed by alveolar type I cells, choroid plexus, and ciliary epithelia of adult rats.

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1
Department of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine, Massachusetts, USA.

Abstract

T1 alpha is the first marker gene known to be expressed in the adult lung solely by the alveolar type I epithelial cell. Previous studies showed that T1 alpha transcripts are abundant in early rat embryos where they are found in the nervous system and in the foregut and certain of its derivatives including the primitive lung. By mid- to late gestation T1 alpha messenger RNA (mRNA) expression is lost from neural tissues but appears to increase in the lung throughout fetal life. To determine whether the T1 alpha transcripts are translated into protein, especially in early embryos which sometimes express transcripts that are translationally silent, we performed immunohistochemistry on embryos and fetal tissues and analyzed certain tissues by western blotting using a monoclonal antibody against T1 alpha protein. T1 alpha protein is present at all sites that have previously been shown to express the mRNA and at similar developmental stages. As estimated from western blots, T1 alpha protein abundance peaks at about fetal day 16 in the brain and decreases thereafter to a relative level in the adult that is lower than that of the neural tube of the day 13 embryo. Relative protein abundance in the lung is very low, although detectable, on embryonic day 13 but increases slowly until fetal day 20 when there is a dramatic increase. At the time of birth, restriction to the type I cell is not complete and therefore must occur during postnatal lung development. Immunostaining reveals additional sites of expression in fetal and adult rats that had not been clearly visualized in previous in situ hybridization studies. T1 alpha is present in mesonephric tubules and apparently in primitive germ cells but is not detectable in specific cells in the adult kidney, ovary, or testis. However, cells of the choroid plexus of the central nervous system and the ciliary epithelium of the eye express T1 alpha in both fetuses and adults. The well-known functions of these epithelia are to elaborate cerebrospinal fluid and aqueous humor respectively by processes of active ion transport and water fluxes, probably through the aquaporin 1 (channel-forming integral membrane protein [CHIP] 28). We speculate therefore that T1 alpha protein may modulate or participate in these types of cellular functions in the lung.

PMID:
8652186
DOI:
10.1165/ajrcmb.14.6.8652186
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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