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Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 1998 May;157(5 Pt 1):1652-7.

Upregulation of the PDGF-alpha receptor precedes asbestos-induced lung fibrosis in rats.

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Department of Medicine, Tulane University Medical Center, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


Platelet-derived growth factor-AA (PDGF-AA) and its matching alpha receptor (PDGF-R alpha) are upregulated in rat lung fibroblasts (RLFs) after exposure to chrysotile asbestos fibers in vitro, which results in asbestos-induced RLF proliferation. We now report our in vivo observations, which show an increase in the expression of PDGF-R alpha mRNA, but not PDGF-beta receptor mRNA, in asbestos-exposed rat lungs when compared with RNA from air-exposed (sham) and iron-exposed lungs. Western analysis of membrane preparations confirmed the observations on mRNA expression by demonstrating an increase in PDGF-R alpha peptide expression in the asbestos-exposed rat lungs, compared with that in the air-exposed lungs. Immunohistochemistry for the PDGF-R alpha was performed on air- and asbestos-exposed rat lungs and revealed a clear increase in staining within interstitial and subepithelial compartments in the exposed animals. These observations, along with our previous report demonstrating an increase in the PDGF-AA isoform expression immediately after asbestos-exposure, suggest a scenario in which a potent lung mesenchymal cell mitogen, PDGF-AA, and its alpha-receptor are upregulated prior to the development of a fibroproliferative lung lesion, and thus may play a central role in the pathogenesis of asbestos-induced lung fibrosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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