Histochemical and cellular changes accompanying the appearance of lung fibrosis in an experimental mouse model for Hermansky Pudlak syndrome

Histochem Cell Biol. 2010 Aug;134(2):205-13. doi: 10.1007/s00418-010-0724-8. Epub 2010 Jul 7.


Hermansky Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a heterogeneous recessive genetic disease with a tendency to develop lung fibrosis with aging. A mouse strain with two mutant HPS genes affecting separate vesicle trafficking pathways, C57BL/6-Hps1 ( ep )-Ap3b1 ( pe ), exhibits severe lung abnormalities at young ages, including enlarged alveolar type II (ATII) cells with giant lamellar bodies and foamy alveolar macrophages (AMs), which are readily identified histologically. In this study, the appearance of lung fibrosis in older animals was studied using classical histological and biochemical methods. The HPS double mutant mice, but not Chediak Higashi syndrome (C57BL/6-Lyst ( bg-J )-J, CHS) or C57BL/6J black control (WT) mice, were found to develop lung fibrosis at about 17 months of age using Masson trichrome staining, which was confirmed by hydroxyproline analysis. TGF beta1 levels were elevated in bronchial alveolar lavage samples at all ages tested in the double mutant, but not WT or CHS mice, indicative of a prefibrotic condition in this experimental strain; and AMs were highly positive for this cytokine using immunohistochemistry staining. Prosurfactant protein C staining for ATII cells showed redistribution and dysmorphism of these cells with aging, but there was no evidence for epithelial-mesenchymal transition of ATII cells by dual staining for prosurfactant C protein and alpha-smooth muscle actin. This investigation showed that the HPS double mutant mouse strain develops interstitial pneumonia (HPSIP) past 1 year of age, which may be initiated by abnormal ATII cells and exacerbated by AM activation. With prominent prefibrotic abnormalities, this double mutant may serve as a model for interventive therapy in HPS.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Hermanski-Pudlak Syndrome / genetics
  • Hermanski-Pudlak Syndrome / pathology*
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / etiology
  • Lung Diseases, Interstitial / genetics
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Pulmonary Fibrosis / pathology*
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1 / metabolism
  • Transport Vesicles / metabolism


  • Transforming Growth Factor beta1