Anti-bombesin monoclonal antibodies modulate fetal mouse lung growth and maturation in utero and in organ cultures.
Fetal pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNECs) contain abundant gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP, mammalian bombesin-like peptide [BLP]). Previously, addition of bombesin resulted in increased fetal lung growth and maturation in utero and in organ cultures. A monoclonal antibody (mAb) to bombesin (2A11) blocked baseline automaturation of lung organ cultures in serum-free medium. In the present study, we analyze lung development following daily in utero administration of 2A11 from gestational days 15-18. Fetal lung treated with 2A11 and then harvested on day 18 demonstrated a dose-dependent decrease in surfactant phospholipid synthesis compared to controls treated with MOPC, an unreactive mAb. However, 2A11-treated fetal lung harvested on day 17 showed paradoxical increases in 3H-choline incorporation into saturated phosphatidylcholine, 3H-thymidine incorporation into DNA, and relative numbers of differentiated type II pneumocytes. In serum-containing day 17 lung organ cultures, 2A11 stimulated choline and thymidine incorporation. Since epidermal growth factor (EGF) is the only agent besides bombesin known to stimulate both fetal lung growth and maturation, we added EGF to serum-free cultures and reconstituted the stimulatory effects. A murine EGF receptor mAb (ERA) blocked 2A11-induced lung growth and maturation in serum-containing cultures, and this effect was overcome by adding EGF. In vivo, ERA also blocked stimulatory effects of 2A11 in fetal lung on day 17. These observations suggest that EGF receptor up-regulation may maintain lung growth and maturation if BLP levels are diminished on day 17. Nonetheless, BLPs appear to be involved in lung maturation on day 18, supporting a role for PNECs in normal lung development.
Sunday, ME; Hua, J; Reyes, B; Masui, H; Torday, JS
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