Keratinocyte growth factor protects against elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema in mice

Laurent Plantier, Sylvain Marchand-Adam, Valeria G Antico Arciuch, Valeria G Antico, Laurent Boyer, Cécile De Coster, Joëlle Marchal, Rafik Bachoual, Arnaud Mailleux, Jorge Boczkowski, Bruno Crestani
American Journal of Physiology. Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology 2007, 293 (5): L1230-9
Pulmonary emphysema is characterized by persistent inflammation and progressive alveolar destruction. The keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) favorably influences alveolar maintenance and repair and possesses anti-inflammatory properties. We aimed to determine whether exogenous KGF prevented or corrected elastase-induced pulmonary emphysema in vivo. Treatment with 5 mg x kg(-1) x day(-1) KGF before elastase instillation prevented pulmonary emphysema. This effect was associated with 1) a sharp reduction in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid total protein and inflammatory cell recruitment, 2) a reduction in the pulmonary expression of the chemokines CCL2 (or monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) and CXCL2 (or macrophage inflammatory protein-2alpha) and of the adhesion molecules ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, 3) a reduction in matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and MMP-9 activity at day 3, and 4) a major reduction in DNA damage detected by terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) in alveolar cells at day 7. Treatment with KGF after elastase instillation had no effect on elastase-induced emphysema despite the conserved expression of the KGF receptor in the lungs of elastase-instilled animals as determined by immunohistochemistry. In vitro, KGF abolished the elastase-induced increase in CCL2, CXCL2, and ICAM-1 mRNA in the MLE-12 murine alveolar epithelial cell line. We conclude that KGF pretreatment protected against elastase-induced pulmonary inflammation, activation of MMPs, alveolar cell DNA damage, and subsequent emphysema in mice.

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