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Keratinocyte growth factor transiently alters pulmonary function in rats

: Hohlfeld, J.M.; Hoymann, H.G.; Tschernig, T.; Fehrenbach, A.; Krug, N.; Fehrenbach, H.


Journal of applied physiology 96 (2004), Nr.2, S.704-710
ISSN: 8750-7587
Fraunhofer ITEM ()
rodent lung function; epithelial cell proliferation; alveolar epithelial type II cell; rodent; plethysmography; epithelial cell

Keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) is a mitogen for pulmonary epithelial cells. Intratracheal administration of KGF to adult rats results in alveolar epithelial type II and bronchiolar epithelial cell proliferation. While cellular responses to KGF have been intensively studied, functional consequences regarding lung function are unknown. Therefore, in this study, we sought to investigate whether KGF alters pulmonary function variables. Rats received either recombinant human KGF (rHuKGF) (5 mg/kg) or vehicle intratracheally. Before and on days 3 and 7 after treatment, pulmonary function was determined by body plethysmography. Subsequently, lung histological changes were quantified. rHuKGF induced a transient proliferation of alveolar and bronchiolar epithelial cells. The extent of type II cell hyperplasia was significantly correlated with a transient reduction in tidal volume and an increase in breathing frequency. In addition, quasi-static compliance, total lung capacity, and vital capacity were reduced after rHuKGF instillation, suggesting the development of a transitory restrictive lung disorder. Moreover, reduced expiratory flow rates and forced expiratory volumes, as well as increased functional residual capacity after rHuKGF but not vehicle, suggest obstructive lung function changes. In conclusion, the induction of alveolar and bronchiolar epithelial cell proliferation by KGF is paralleled by moderate functional consequences that should be taken into account when the therapeutic potential of KGF is tested.