Laminin-5 gamma2 chain in cryptogenic organizing pneumonia and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2004 Jan 1;169(1):27-33. doi: 10.1164/rccm.200210-1234OC. Epub 2003 Sep 18.


Insufficient reepithelialization of injured alveolar walls may be important in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Laminin-5 is expressed in epithelial cells of healing wounds, promoting cell attachment and migration. In this study we have studied the extent of reepithelialization of newly formed intraluminal connective tissue, the immunohistochemical expression and ultrastructural localization of the laminin-5 gamma2 chain protein, and the synthesis of the laminin-5 gamma2 chain mRNA in regenerating epithelial cells in cryptogenic organizing pneumonia (COP) and IPF. The results show that the mean extent of reepithelialization of intraluminal connective tissue lesions was 76% (SD, +/- 27%) in COP, and 54% (SD, +/- 23%) in IPF (p < 0.025). The laminin-5 gamma2 chain was synthesized and widely expressed in regenerating epithelial cells in both diseases. Immunohistochemistry for surfactant-associated protein A suggests a pneumocyte origin for the regenerating epithelial cells in IPF. It is concluded that both in COP and IPF, regenerating epithelial cells are capable of synthesizing the laminin-5 gamma2 chain needed for adhesive connections to the underlying basement membrane. However, in IPF, the reepithelialization seems to be disturbed or delayed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basement Membrane / physiology
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cryptogenic Organizing Pneumonia / pathology*
  • Culture Techniques
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Laminin / analysis
  • Laminin / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Prognosis
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology
  • Respiratory Mucosa / ultrastructure
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • LAMC2 protein, human
  • Laminin