[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alveolar epithelial type II (ATII)-like cells can be generated from murine embryonic stem cells (ESCs), albeit to date no robust protocols applying specific differentiation factors are established. We hypothesized that keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), an important mediator of lung organogenesis and primary ATII cell maturation and proliferation, together with dexamethasone, 8-bromoadenosine-cAMP and isobutylmethylxanthine (DCI), which induce maturation of primary fetal ATII cells, also support the alveolar differentiation of murine ESCs. Here we demonstrate that the above stimuli synergistically potentiate the alveolar differentiation of ESCs as indicated by increased expression of the surfactant proteins (SP)-C and SP-B. This effect is most profound if KGF is supplied not only in the late stage but at least also during the intermediate stage of differentiation. Our results indicate that KGF most likely does not enhance the generation of (mes)endodermal or NK2 homeobox 1 (Nkx2.1) expressing lung epithelial progenitor cells but rather, supported by DCI, accelerates further differentiation/maturation of respiratory progeny in the intermediate phase and maturation/proliferation of emerging ATII cells in the late stage of differentiation. Ultrastructural analyses confirmed the presence of ATII-like cells with intracellular composite and lamellar bodies. Finally, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) were generated from transgenic mice with ATII cell-specific lacZ reporter expression. Again, KGF and DCI synergistically increased SP-C and SP-B expression in iPSC cultures, and lacZ expressing ATII-like cells developed. In conclusion, ATII cell-specific reporter expression enabled the first reliable proof for the generation of murine iPSC-derived ATII cells. In addition, we have shown KGF and DCI to synergistically support the generation of ATII-like cells from ESCs and iPSCs. Combined application of these factors will facilitate more efficient generation of stem cell-derived ATII cells for future basic research and potential therapeutic application.
Tissue Engineering Part A 11/2012; · 4.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic lung disease remains the major cause of morbidity and mortality of cystic fibrosis (CF) patients. Cftr mutant mice developed severe intestinal obstruction, but did not exhibit the characteristic CF ion transport defects (i.e. deficient cAMP-dependent Cl(-) secretion and increased Na(+) absorption) in the lower airways, and failed to develop CF-like lung disease. These observations led to the generation of transgenic mice with airway-specific overexpression of the epithelial Na(+) channel (ENaC) as an alternative approach to mimic CF ion transport pathophysiology in the lung. Studies of the phenotype of βENaC-transgenic mice demonstrated that increased airway Na(+) absorption causes airway surface liquid (ASL) depletion, reduced mucus transport and a spontaneous CF-like lung disease with airway mucus obstruction and chronic airway inflammation. Here, we summarize approaches that can be applied for studies of the complex in vivo pathogenesis and preclinical evaluation of novel therapeutic strategies in this model of CF lung disease.
Journal of cystic fibrosis: official journal of the European Cystic Fibrosis Society 06/2011; 10 Suppl 2:S172-82. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conditional regulation of gene expression by the combined use of a lung-specific promoter and the tetracycline-regulated system provides a powerful tool for studying gene function in lung biology and disease pathogenesis in a development-independent fashion. However, the original version of the reverse tetracycline-dependent transactivator (rtTA) exhibited limited doxycycline sensitivity and residual affinity to its promoter (P(tet)), producing leaky transgene expression in the absence of doxycycline. These limitations impeded the use of this system in studying gene dosage effects in pulmonary pathogenesis and repair mechanisms in the diseased lung. Therefore, we used a new-generation rtTA, rtTA2(s)-M2, with no basal activity and increased doxycycline sensitivity, and the rat Clara cell secretory protein (CCSP) promoter to target its expression to pulmonary epithelia in mice. Novel CCSP-rtTA2(s)-M2 founder lines were crossed, with bi-transgenic reporter mice expressing luciferase and Cre recombinase. Background activity, doxycycline sensitivity, tissue and cell-type specificity, inducibility, and reversibility of doxycycline-dependent gene expression were determined by luciferase activity, immunohistochemistry, morphometry, and bioluminescence measurements in neonatal and adult lungs. We generated two distinct novel CCSP-rtTA2(s)-M2 activator mouse lines that confer tight and doxycycline dose-dependent regulation of transgene expression, with high inducibility, complete reversibility, and no background activity, in airway and alveolar epithelia. We conclude that rtTA2(s)-M2 enables quantitative control of conditional gene expression in respiratory epithelia of the murine lung, and that the new CCSP-rtTA2(s)-M2 activator mouse lines will be useful in the further elucidation of the pathogenesis of complex lung diseases and in studies of lung repair.
American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 02/2011; 44(2):244-54. · 4.15 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studies in cystic fibrosis patients and mice overexpressing the epithelial Na(+) channel beta-subunit (betaENaC-Tg) suggest that raised airway Na(+) transport and airway surface liquid (ASL) depletion are central to the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis lung disease. However, patients or mice with Liddle gain-of-function betaENaC mutations exhibit hypertension but no lung disease. To investigate this apparent paradox, we compared the airway phenotype (nasal versus tracheal) of Liddle with CFTR-null, betaENaC-Tg, and double mutant mice. In mouse nasal epithelium, the region that functionally mimics human airways, high levels of CFTR expression inhibited Liddle epithelial Nat channel (ENaC) hyperfunction. Conversely, in mouse trachea, low levels of CFTR failed to suppress Liddle ENaC hyperfunction. Indeed, Na(+) transport measured in Ussing chambers ("flooded" conditions) was raised in both Liddle and betaENaC-Tg mice. Because enhanced Na(+) transport did not correlate with lung disease in these mutant mice, measurements in tracheal cultures under physiologic "thin film" conditions and in vivo were performed. Regulation of ASL volume and ENaC-mediated Na(+) absorption were intact in Liddle but defective in betaENaC-Tg mice. We conclude that the capacity to regulate Na(+) transport and ASL volume, not absolute Na(+) transport rates in Ussing chambers, is the key physiologic function protecting airways from dehydration-induced lung disease.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2010; 285(35):26945-55. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Increased airway Na(+) absorption mediated by epithelial Na(+) channels (ENaC) is a characteristic abnormality in the pathogenesis of cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease. However, inhalation therapy with the ENaC blocker amiloride did not have therapeutic benefits in patients with CF with established lung disease.
We hypothesized that preventive inhibition of increased Na(+) absorption in a structurally normal lung may be required for effective therapy of CF lung disease in vivo, and that therapeutic effects of late amiloride intervention may be impeded by the chronic disease process.
To test this hypothesis in vivo, we used the betaENaC-overexpression mouse as a model of CF lung disease and determined therapeutic effects of preventive versus late amiloride therapy on survival, airway mucus plugging, chronic bronchitis, and airway remodeling.
We show that early intervention, i.e., from the first day of life, with the intranasal administration of amiloride significantly reduced pulmonary mortality, airway mucus obstruction, epithelial necrosis, goblet cell metaplasia, and airway inflammation in betaENaC-overexpressing mice. In contrast, consistent with previous human trials in patients with CF, amiloride administration did not have benefits if treatment was started after the development of CF-like lung disease in betaENaC-overexpressing mice.
We conclude that preventive inhibition of increased airway Na(+) absorption provides an effective therapy for CF-like lung disease in vivo. These results suggest that amiloride therapy may be an effective preventive therapy for patients with CF if initiated early in life before the onset of lung disease.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 11/2008; 178(12):1245-56. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading cause of death worldwide, but its pathogenesis is not well understood. Previous studies have shown that airway surface dehydration in beta-epithelial Na(+) channel (betaENaC)-overexpressing mice caused a chronic lung disease with high neonatal pulmonary mortality and chronic bronchitis in adult survivors.
The aim of this study was to identify the initiating lesions and investigate the natural progression of lung disease caused by airway surface dehydration.
Lung morphology, gene expression, bronchoalveolar lavage, and lung mechanics were studied at different ages in betaENaC-overexpressing mice.
Mucus obstruction in betaENaC-overexpressing mice originated in the trachea in the first days of life and was associated with hypoxia, airway epithelial necrosis, and death. In surviving betaENaC-overexpressing mice, mucus obstruction extended into the lungs and was accompanied by goblet cell metaplasia, increased mucin expression, and airway inflammation with transient perinatal increases in tumor necrosis factor-alpha and macrophages, IL-13 and eosinophils, and persistent increases in keratinocyte-derived cytokine (KC), neutrophils, and chitinases in the lung. betaENaC-overexpressing mice also developed emphysema with increased lung volumes, distal airspace enlargement, and increased lung compliance.
Our studies demonstrate that airway surface dehydration is sufficient to initiate persistent neutrophilic airway inflammation with chronic airways mucus obstruction and to cause transient eosinophilic airway inflammation and emphysema. These results suggest that deficient airway surface hydration may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases of different etiologies and serve as a target for novel therapies.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine 05/2008; 177(7):730-42. · 11.04 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the initiating lesions and investigate the natural progression of lung disease caused by airway surface dehydration. Methods: Lung morphology, gene expression, bronchoalveolar la- vage, and lung mechanics were studied at different ages in bENaC- overexpressing mice. Measurements and Main Results: Mucus obstruction in bENaC- overexpressing mice originated in the trachea in the first days of life and was associated with hypoxia, airway epithelial necrosis, and death. In surviving bENaC-overexpressing mice, mucus obstruction extended into the lungs and was accompanied by goblet cell meta- plasia, increased mucin expression, and airway inflammation with transient perinatal increases in tumor necrosis factor-a and macro- phages, IL-13 and eosinophils, and persistent increases in keratinocyte- derived cytokine (KC), neutrophils, and chitinases in the lung. bENaC- overexpressing mice also developed emphysema with increased lung volumes, distal airspace enlargement, and increased lung compliance. Conclusions: Our studies demonstrate that airway surface dehydration is sufficient to initiate persistent neutrophilic airway inflammation with chronic airways mucus obstruction and to cause transient eosinophilic airway inflammation and emphysema. These results suggest that deficient airway surface hydration may play a critical role in the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases of different etiologies and serve as a target for novel therapies.