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J Histochem Cytochem. 1996 Jul;44(7):673-8.

Expression of thyroid transcription factor-1(TTF-1) in fetal and neonatal human lung.

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Department of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.


We assessed the immunohistochemical localization of thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1) in the lungs of 24 human fetuses (11-23 weeks), three infants without pulmonary pathology (36-42 weeks), and 24 infants (2 days-6.5 months) with hyaline membrane disease (HMD) or bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). TTF-1 was detected in fetal lung epithelial cell nuclei by 11 weeks' gestation. Budding tips of terminal airways had prominently labeled nuclei. By 17 weeks, labeling was present in scattered nonciliated columnar and cuboidal cells. Throughout gestation, TTF-1 nuclear staining was prominent in airways abutting pleural, peribronchial, or perivascular connective tissue, being less prominent in centers of lobules. By 23 weeks, many cells in cuboidal but not columnar cell-lined airways had labeled nuclei. At term, TTF-1 was detected primarily in Type II epithelial cells. In HMD with alveolar hemorrhage, edema, or airway collapse, little or no TTF-1 was present except in open terminal airways. In BDP lungs, TTF-1 was absent in areas of alveolar collapse or infection, being present in regenerating open airways. The temporal-spatial distribution of TTF-1, in general, follows patterns of distribution of surfactant protein-B in developing and pathological lungs, consistent with its role in the regulation of epithelial cell gene expression in the lung.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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