Objective: The importance of type V collagen and its relationships with other types of collagen and with vascular and epithelial apoptosis were studied in a model of chemical carcinogenesis in the mouse lung.
Methods: TWO GROUPS OF MALE BALB/C MICE WERE STUDIED: a) animals that received two intraperitoneal doses of 3 g/kg urethane carcinogen (urethane group = 24); and b) animals submitted to a sham procedure, comparable to the test group (control group = 7). Both groups were sacrificed after 120 days. In situ detection of apoptosis, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence and histomorphometry were used to evaluate the fraction occupied by the tumor, vascular and epithelial apoptosis, and type V, III and I collagen fibers in the lung parenchyma from both groups.
Results: The lung parenchyma from the urethane group showed low fractions of vascular and epithelial apoptosis as well as reduced type V collagen fibers when compared to the control group. A significant direct association was found between type V and III collagen fibers and epithelial apoptosis, type V collagen fibers and vascular apoptosis, and type V and type I collagen fibers.
Conclusion: The results show that a direct link between low amounts of type V collagen and decreased cell apoptosis may favor cancer cell growth in the mouse lung after chemical carcinogenesis, suggesting that strategies aimed at preventing decreased type V collagen synthesis or local responses to reduced apoptosis may have a greater impact in lung cancer control.
Keywords: Experimental lung cancer; Immunofluorescence; Imunohistochemistry; Morphometry; Type V collagen.