Paracrine effects of bombesin/gastrin-releasing peptide and other growth factors on pulmonary neuroendocrine cells in vitro

Journal Article

Pulmonary neuroendocrine cells (PNEC) are numerous in the fetus where they have been implicated to have a role in fetal lung development. We assessed the effects of putative growth factors, gastrin releasing peptide (GRP), cholecystokinin (CCK), gastrin (GN), serotonin (5-HT), and epidermal growth factor (EGF), some of which are produced by PNEC, either alone or in combination, on cultured fetal rabbit PNEC from 20, 24, and 28 day fetuses. GRP increased the total protein of the cultures over a 7 day period in an age-dependent manner, with greatest effect in cultures from the 24 day fetus, no effect with the 28 day fetus, and an inhibitory effect on 20 day cultures. This was accompanied by an increase in PNEC, which could be blocked by treatment of the cultures with a monoclonal antibody to GRP (2A11). There was no increase in 3H-thymidine labeling of PNEC in GRP treated cultures but an increase in numbers of cells partially stained for 5-HT, suggesting the induction of a precursor cell. Other growth factors had neither an inhibitory nor a stimulatory effect either alone or in combination with GRP. Preliminary studies with 125I-GRP receptor localization suggests that the GRP receptor is mostly expressed on pulmonary fibroblasts, and less on epithelial cells, so that the role for GRP in fetal lung development, at least in the rabbit, is probably indirect, acting via a paracrine mechanism.

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Speirs, V; Bienkowski, E; Wong, V; Cutz, E; Polak, JM; Scheuermann, DW; Sunday, ME; Linnoila, RI; Gail, DB; Aguayo, SM; Stephens, NL; Becker, KL; Sorokin, SP; Miller, YE; Jr, RFH; McDowell, EM; Gosney, JR; Hung, KS; Springall, DR

Published Date

  • 1993

Published In

  • Anatomical Record

Volume / Issue

  • 236 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 53 - 67