In vivo role of platelet-derived growth factor-BB in airway smooth muscle proliferation in mouse lung

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2011 Sep;45(3):566-72. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2010-0277OC. Epub 2011 Jan 7.


Airway smooth muscle (ASM) hyperplasia in asthma likely contributes considerably to functional changes. Investigating the mechanisms behind proliferation of these cells may lead to therapeutic benefit. Platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF)-BB is a well known ASM mitogen in vitro but has yet to be directly explored using in vivo mouse models in the context of ASM proliferation and airway responsiveness. To determine the in vivo influence of PDGF-BB on gene transcripts encoding contractile proteins, ASM proliferation, and airway physiology, we used an adenovirus overexpression system and a model of chronic allergen exposure. We used adenovirus technology to selectively overexpress PDGF-BB in the airway epithelium of mice. Outcome measurements, including airway physiology, real time RT-PCR measurements, proliferating cell nuclear antigen staining, and airway smooth muscle quantification, were performed 7 days after exposure. The same outcome measurements were performed 24 hours and 4 weeks after a chronic allergen exposure model. PDGF-BB overexpression resulted in airway hyperresponsiveness, decreased lung compliance, increased airway smooth muscle cell numbers, positive proliferating cell nuclear antigen-stained airway smooth muscle cells, and a reduction in genes encoding contractile proteins. Chronic allergen exposure resulted in elevations in lung lavage PDGF-BB, which were observed in conjunction with changes in gene transcript expression encoding contractile proteins and ASM proliferation. We demonstrate for the first time in vivo that PDGF-BB induces ASM hyperplasia and changes in lung mechanics in mice and that, during periods of allergen exposure changes in lung, PDGF-BB are associated with changes in airway structure and function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / genetics
  • Animals
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Becaplermin
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Models, Biological
  • Muscle, Smooth / cytology*
  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor / metabolism*
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / biosynthesis
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Time Factors


  • Platelet-Derived Growth Factor
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-sis
  • Becaplermin