Background. Bronchiolitis obliterans (OB) is a lesion that results when injury to small conducting airways is repaired by a proliferation of fibrous granulation tissue. Bronchiolitis obliterans has emerged as a main cause of morbidity and mortality in the setting of lung and heart-lung transplantation. Endothelin-1 lET-1), initially discovered as a vasoconstrictive peptide, has a mitogenic activity on vascular smooth cells and airway epithelial cells. Overproduction of endothelin has been reported in patients with OB or chronic rejection after lung transplantation. It is still undetermined whether locally overexpressed ET-1 has a potential impact in the pathogenesis of OB. Methods. We locally overexpressed ET-1 using ultraviolet irradiation-inactivated hemagglutinating virus of Japan (HVJ)- liposome-mediated in vivo gene transfer. Plasmid DNA of prepro-ET-1 and high mobility group 1 protein were coencapsulated in liposomes, and were introduced into airway epithelial cells by HVJ-mediated membrane fusion. Control animals received instillation of HVJ-liposome with an empty expression cassette. To confirm the efficiency of transfection, HVJ liposome with β-galactosidase gene was introduced. The expression of ET-1 and β- galactosidase was assessed by immunohistochemistry. Results. Bronchial epithelium alveolar cells and alveolar macrophage were stained blue (X-Gal) 1 week after in vivo gene transfer of β-galactosidase gene, indicating β-gal activity. In animals 1 to 2 weeks after in vivo transfection of prepro-ET-1 gene, hyperplastic connective tissue plaque was seen in the alveolar duct and small conducting airway, indicating histologically distinctive bronchiolitis obliterans. Strong ET-1-like immunoactivities were seen in the airway epithelial, hyperplastic connective tissue, and alveolar cells. No histopathologic changes were seen in the control animals. Conclusions. These results suggested that ET-1 may play an important role in the pathogenesis of OB. The effective pharmacologic antagonist or inhibitor may possibly control the progression of disease in patients of OB.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine