Long-term post-pneumonectomy pulmonary adaptation following all-trans-retinoic acid supplementation

Priya Ravikumar, D. Merrill Dane, Paul McDonough, Cuneyt Yilmaz, Aaron S. Estrera, Connie C W Hsia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Ravikumar P, Dane DM, McDonough P, Yilmaz C, Estrera AS, Hsia CC. Long-term post-pneumonectomy pulmonary adaptation following all-trans-retinoic acid supplementation. J Appl Physiol 110: 764 -773, 2011. First published November 25, 2010; doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00994.2010.-In adult dogs following right pneumonectomy (PNX) and receiving all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) supplementation for 4 mo, we found modestly enhanced alveolar- capillary growth in the remaining lung without enhanced resting lung function (J Appl Physiol 96: 1080-1089 and 96: 1090-1096, 2004). Since alveolar remodeling progresses beyond this period and the lipid-soluble RA continues to be released from tissue stores, we hypothesized that RA supplementation may exert additional long-term effects. To examine this issue, adult male litter-matched foxhounds underwent right PNX followed by RA supplementation (2 mg/kg po 4 days/wk, n = 6) or placebo (n = 4) for 4 mo. Cardiopulmonary function was measured at rest and during exercise at 4 and 20 mo post-PNX. The remaining lung was fixed under a constant airway pressure for morphometric analysis. Comparing RA treatment to placebo controls, there were no differences in aerobic capacity, cardiopulmonary function, or lung volume at rest or exercise. Alveolar- capillary basal lamina thickness and mean harmonic thickness of air-blood diffusion barrier were 23-29% higher. The prevalence of double-capillary profiles remained 82% higher. Absolute volumes of septal interstitium, collagen fibers, cells, and matrix were 32% higher; the relative volumes of other septal components and alveolar-capillary surface areas expressed as ratios to control values were up to 24% higher. Thus RA supplementation following right PNX modestly and persistently enhanced long-term alveolar-capillary structural dimensions, especially the deposition of interstitial and connective tissue elements, in such a way that caused a net increase in barrier resistance to diffusion without improving lung mechanics or gas exchange.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)764-773
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Air-blood diffusion barrier
  • Alveolar remodeling
  • Capillary basal lamina
  • Dog
  • Interstitial cells and matrix
  • Lung diffusing capacity
  • Morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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