Because of its expression pattern and its potent effects on mesenchymal cells, platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) has been implicated as an important factor in epithelial-mesenchymal cell interactions during normal lung development and in the pathogenesis of fibrotic lung disease. To further explore the role of PDGF in these processes, we have developed transgenic mice that express the PDGF-B gene from the lung-specific surfactant protein C (SPC) promoter. Adult SPC-PDGFB transgenic mice exhibited lung pathology characterized by enlarged airspaces, inflammation, and fibrosis. Emphysematous changes frequently occurred throughout the lung, but inflammation and fibrotic lesions were usually confined to focal areas. The severity of this phenotype varied significantly among individual mice within the same SPC-PDGFB transgenic lineage. A pathology similar to that observed in adult mice was noted in lungs from transgenic mice as young as 1 week of age. Neonatal transgenic mice exhibited enlarged saccules and thickened primary septa. Results of these studies indicated that overexpression of PDGF-B induced distinct abnormalities in the developing and adult lung and led to a complex phenotype that encompassed aspects of both emphysema and fibrotic lung disease.