Alteration of pulmonary neuroendocrine cells during epithelial repair of naphthalene-induced airway injury.
Whole-mount airway preparations isolated from the lungs of mice treated by intraperitoneal injection of naphthalene and allowed to recover for 5 days were examined for the distribution and abundance of solitary pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs) and neuroepithelial bodies (NEBs) along the main axial pathway of the right middle lobe. Sham mice treated with corn oil vehicle were examined in a similar manner. An antibody to calcitonin gene-related peptide, a neuroendocrine cell marker, was used to identify the location, size, and number of PNECs and NEBs in the airways. After naphthalene treatment and epithelial repair, NEBs were significantly increased along the walls of the airways as well as on branch point ridges. The surface area covered by NEBs composed of 20 or fewer PNECs was significantly enlarged after naphthalene treatment compared with control NEBs of an equivalent cell number. The PNEC number per square millimeter was also increased more than threefold above control values after naphthalene treatment. These findings provide further support for a key role of neuroendocrine cells in the reparative process of airway epithelial cell renewal after injury.
Peake, JL; Reynolds, SD; Stripp, BR; Stephens, KE; Pinkerton, KE
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