Article: article from journal or magazin.
Neonatal steroids induce a down-regulation of tenascin-C and elastin and cause a deceleration of the first phase and an acceleration of the second phase of lung alveolarization.
Histochemistry and Cell Biology
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
Pre- and postnatal corticosteroids are often used in perinatal medicine to improve pulmonary function in preterm infants. To mimic this clinical situation, newborn rats were treated systemically with dexamethasone (Dex), 0.1-0.01 mg/kg/day on days P1-P4. We hypothesized that postnatal Dex may have an impact on alveolarization by interfering with extracellular matrix proteins and cellular differentiation. Morphological alterations were observed on 3D images obtained by high-resolution synchrotron radiation X-ray tomographic microscopy. Alveolarization was quantified stereologically by estimating the formation of new septa between days P4 and P60. The parenchymal expression of tenascin-C (TNC), smooth muscle actin (SMA), and elastin was measured by immunofluorescence and gene expression for TNC by qRT-PCR. After Dex treatment, the first phase of alveolarization was significantly delayed between days P6 and P10, whereas the second phase was accelerated. Elastin and SMA expressions were delayed by Dex treatment, whereas TNC expression was delayed and prolonged. A short course of neonatal steroids impairs the first phase of alveolarization, most likely by altering the TNC and elastin expression. Due to an overshooting catch-up during the second phase of alveolarization, the differences disappear when the animals reach adulthood.
Web of science
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